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Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck’

"Common Beech"

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Tree Information

A stunning cultivar of our native Beech. This tightly narrow form was originally discovered in the woods within the Dawyck estate in Peeblesshire, Scotland. The owners liked this unique tree, so it was transplanted into the Dawyck gardens closer to the house for them to enjoy. Frederick Balfour later purchased the estate and being a keen arborist, he appreciated the unusual form of this tree. He took cuttings of its young growth, distributing the scions to notable gardens such as Kew and Hermann A. Hesse tree nursery. It was at Hesse nursery that the Dawyck was first produced and sold commercially in 1912.

Its tight pyramidal canopy is stunningly tall reaching 20 plus meters. Although a dominant feature, it retains its width never developing more than 3 meters wide. This opens numerous solutions and possible applications, including tight central reservations that require shade, to intriguing landscape designs. It should not be confused with the Fagus sylvatica fastigiate, which is a different tree and a particular shape. The bark shines silvery steel which is smooth and unblemished. This extends along its stable branches giving a majestic, noble appearance to its canopy. When spring arrives, the long cigar-shaped buds unfold lemon-green leaves which brighten to a vibrant shade of lime. They have deep veins which appear rigid and crinkled. Compactly overlapped within its canopy, the bright green leaves look breathtaking and are very eye-catching. As summer fades these leaves mature into molten browns and leathery yellows which crinkle and dry as they shut down. Throughout the winter the scrunched brown leaves remain on the branches, especially in sheltered locations.

Size 10m high x 3m wide after 25 years.
Environment Not demanding of soil type, it requires a free draining structure that does not waterlog. Its long columnar canopy and shallow roots are not suitable for overly exposed locations. Ideal for central reservations, avenues and design specimen planting. Not to be confused with Fastigiata Beech, which is a different tree.
Canopy A tight pyramidal form of the Beech with ascending branches. Its tall canopy can reach 20m high, remaining at a maximum width of 3m. The branches tend to grow from the base up, displaying a symmetrical narrow form similar to a candles flame.
Foliage Buds break is the middle of April to the beginning of May when its lemon green leaves unfold. These become a vibrant lime green with deep crinkle cut veins. As autumn comes the leaves bronze and become a russet brown. They are marcescence, in that they hold their crinkled leaves on the canopy throughout the winter.

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