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How to Plant Beech Trees

By Barbara Fahs ; Updated September 21, 2017

Beech trees (Fagus sylvatica is the European beech) grow to a very large size, so if you’re thinking of planting one, make sure you have sufficient space for a tree that can attain a height of 70 feet with a spreading width of up to 40 feet. But this tree is attractive and provides plenty of lovely shade. It hails from southern England and is a good source of lumber. Many varieties of beech trees exist; check with your garden center for advice and availability of a species that will do well in your area.

Select an appropriate variety of bare-root beech tree. Make sure you have a large area for it to grow because it will become very large.

Dig a hole at least three times as large as the tree’s root ball and then dig in one to two shovelfuls of compost, well-rotted manure or a balanced fertilizer.

Plant your young beech tree in the center of the hole and then loosely fill it in with the soil you dug out. Do not pack the soil down.

Give your tree a thorough watering and then drive in a plant stake to support and protect it while it remains small. Tie the tree to the stake with gardener’s tape.

Spread a thick layer of mulch around the tree in a doughnutlike configuration, about 6 inches from the trunk. Do not allow the mulch to come into contact with the tree trunk. A good mulch to use is well-composted leaves and other plant material.

Keep your tree well watered until it is well established.


Things You Will Need

  • Well-drained sandy soil
  • Bare root beech tree
  • Compost or manure
  • Plant stake
  • Gardener's tape


  • Be careful not to plant a beech tree close to your home, other buildings or utility lines. Leave at least 30 to 40 feet from the planting area.

About the Author


Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.