Fagus sylvatica at Roath Park Llandennis Gardens

Fagus sylvatica 0

Fagus sylvatica
July 2020

Grid reference ST 18386 80566
Common name Common beech
Origin Europe
Deciduous Yes
Planted c.1980
Height 20M December 2020
Girth 231cm December 2020
Reference 624

Terry Davies, formerly Horticultural Officer for the Cardiff Parks Service, remembers the planting of this Common beech, Fagus sylvatica, now a vigorous, semi-mature tree growing on the west side of Llandennis Oval:

It was during a National Tree Week c.1980 and was memorable owing to the conduct of the children from Rhydypennau Junior School who took part in the planting. (It was then common for planting ceremonies to take place in National Tree Week, attended by Councillors and local promary school children.) The specimen was a high quality rootballed Selected Standard tree. A one sq. Metre hole, approximately 60 cm. deep had to be dug to accommodate the excellent rootball, and the tree was planted. Then a party of more than a dozen smart children approached in double-file with a teacher to the front and the rear. Each child was wearing Wellington boots and carried a child-sized garden fork and spade on its shoulder. As they obviously expected to do some work, the gardeners rapidly dug out the soil from around the root, and each child moved some soil and firmed it around the roots. In the absence of a Councillor, I told the children of the value of trees in the environment and how worthwhile it was to plant them. There were numerous questions and answers were met with a “Thank you, Sir”. One of the teachers, in answer to my question about the children's gardening tools, advised that the children were members of the Rural Science Club.

General tree description

Fagus sylvatica, the Common or European beech, is a large tree, up to 40 metres tall, with smooth, silver-grey bark. Typically it has a long straight trunk supporting a huge dome and dense foliage. The leaves are up to 10cm long, oval or obovate, with a wavy margin and small irregular teeth. They emerge fresh green, becoming darker and shiny above, pale and shiny underneath, and in autumn turning a golden copper colour. Yellow-green flowers come with the leaves in early May. The male flowers are catkins, while the female flowers come in pairs of short spikes enclosed in a cup. They produce the beechnuts, small triangular nuts in spiky husks.