Native to: Europe - from southern Sweden to northern Sicily
Grows up to: 50m
Lives up to: 300 years
Description: A large tree with smooth grey bark. The leaves are green, have 6-7 pairs of veins, and have smooth wavy edges with fine silky hairs. The male flowers are small catkins, while the female flowers turn into woody cups called cupules, which contain beechnuts. The foliage on beech trees is so dense that not much can grow beneath them because they block out the light.
Fact: Although beech is often considered one of the most British trees, recent evidence suggests that it may not have arrived on our shores until 4000 BC. This means that it must have arrived after the formation of the English channel, following the last ice age. It has been proposed that Stone age humans might have brought them here.