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European Beech Hedge

Fagus sylvatica

> European Beech Hedge
European Beech Hedge2019-10-19T11:25:54+00:00
The naturally large European beech hedge aka Fagus Sylvatica is well-known as a towering deciduous tree, but it also can be shaped into a stunning hedge. The tree’s leaves change color with the passing seasons, which make it an attractive hedge in many outdoor spaces.
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Shorter, 3-4' European beech (Fagus sylvatica) InstantHedge unit ready to ship.

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Three European beech (Fagus sylvatica) InstantHedge units sit on a pallet ready to be shipped.

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A 5-6' European beech (Fagus sylvatica) InstantHedge unit put in biodegradable cardboard ready to be planted.

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Winter row of European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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This truck has been loaded with shorter yew (Taxus) hedges and taller European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedges.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) foliage in summer.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) foliage in autumn.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedgerow in mid-summer.

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Many hedge units of yew (Taxus) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica) are stages on pallets and ready to ship!

Quick Guide

Fagus Sylvatica growing region: European Beech grows in USDA Zone 5-8
  • As a low-branched beech shrub, with a trunk ranging from 2 to 4 feet in diameter, it works especially well for hedging.
  • The Fagus sylvatica beech tree has a lovely bark that is smooth and silver-gray.
  • The tree’s foliage turns bronze in fall and blooms with yellow-green flowers in the early spring. The male flowers in drooping globular clusters and the female flowers in short spikes, which fruit to edible beechnuts.

fagus sylvatica hedge details

There are a number of immediate benefits to choosing the European Beech hedge for your next hedge:

  • Makes a uniquely attractive hedge with heavy pruning
  • Tolerates a wider range of soils than other beeches
  • Low-branched habit makes it suitable for hedging

As a large tree, the Fagus sylvatica Hedge works especially well in expansive outdoor spaces.

It has an attractive upright-oval to rounded-spreading crown when left alone and can be pruned to any desired hedge style.

Native to the woodlands of central and southern Europe, this hedge was brought to America by colonists in the mid-1700s and has remained a popular ornamental tree ever since. Also check out Copper beech hedge

USDA Hardiness Zones:5-8
Your Hardiness Zone:
ZIP: 

Sun/Shade:Full Sun to Partial Shade
Deer Resistance: Moderate
Growth Rate: Moderate, to 2’ per year
Mature Size: Up to 12’ height and 4’ width
Drought Tolerance:Moderate
West Coast - Sunset Heat Zones:2 - 9 and 14 - 21; A3
Pest/Disease Issues:
No major pest or disease issues. Beech scale is an occasional problem. Borers, beech bark disease, canker and powdery mildew are all possible.

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Beech (Fagus Sylvatica) is a classic hedge choice that has been used to create beautiful hedges for thousands of years. Between its lush green foliage, lovely fall color, graceful form, leaf retention through winter, and incredible longevity, it has proven itself over time to be one of the best possible hedging choices available. Fagus Sylvatica can be grown into a very large hedge over time, but it can also be kept small and very manageable with regular pruning. It has a low branching habit which makes it perfectly suited for hedging. It is an easy-to-grow hedge that tolerates a wide range of soils and other factors, and it is very cold-hardy.

FEATURES

Foliage

European Beech Fagus Sylvatica is one of the few popular hedges that can boast a stunning seasonal color change. First, in spring, leaves are fresh, bright green. For summer, they are deep green, smooth, and shiny. In fall, they turn various shades of copper, rust, and gold. Through winter, they are deep rust. Buds are long, pointed, and smooth.

Fagus Sylvatica Summer Foliage. European Beech hedge looks stunning in summer with green foliage

Summer foliage on Fagus sylvatica

European Beech Tree in Fall: Fagus Sylvatica Copper Beech color during fall

Fall foliage on Fagus sylvatica

Branches

European Beech tree branching patterns are smooth, graceful, and lovely. With nothing knobby or angular, Fagus hedge is always elegant. Even if branches are bare (perhaps from an early spring windstorm right before spring flush), they are smooth, silvery, and beautiful. It could be argued that there is not a day in the whole year when this hedge does not look lovely.

Leaf Retention

One huge benefit of choosing a beech tree is that, even though it is deciduous, it provides year-round privacy. After the European Beech leaves turn their lovely copper hues in autumn, they fade to the color of rich leather and cling to the branches until just before they flush for spring. Talking about Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam) , It has only rough green leaf with deep veins.  Tree Fagus Sylvatica flies in the face of the reasoning that you must plant an evergreen hedge for year-round privacy.

Fagus sylvatica tree in winters: Fagus Sylvatica looks so beautiful in winters

Photo taken in late February in Oregon – Beech leaves still clinging to the branches!

Longevity

There is perhaps no better example of this than the Meikleour Beech Hedge in Scotland. It was planted in 1745 and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest hedge in the world. It was planted as a memorial for fallen soldiers and today is a popular tourist attraction. Beech Fagus Sylvatica Hedge is still stunning despite its almost 300 years of age, although at 100 feet tall maintenance has become quite difficult! Although most of us don’t plan to maintain a hedge for more than a few decades, it is interesting to note that this tree can thrive in the same footprint for a very, very long time.

GROWING

Planting

European Beach Tree is a forgiving and easy-to-grow hedge. We prefer to ship beech in fall, winter, or spring, but we can ship in summer if needed. The hedges will do just fine the next year if planted in summer, but there may be some premature browning of the leaves in the first summer of planting. For the best success, we do recommend planting while they are still dormant or just leaving/entering dormancy.

Exposure

European beech tree can be grown in full sun to full shade, making it wonderfully versatile for all kinds of locations. This is especially useful if you are planting a very long hedge that passes through areas with full sun and full shade, as you can use the same type of hedge throughout.

fagus hedge (Fagus Sylvatica)

The best time to ship and plant Fagus Sylvatica is in fall, winter, or early spring while still dormant. This puts the least amount of stress on the plants.

A generous application of mulch will help protect shallow roots in high-traffic areas

Soil

Beech is tolerant of a wide range of soils, even poor soils. Most roots grow in the upper two feet of the soil, so a generous application of mulch around the base of the hedge will help protect the roots, especially if you are planting in an area with high foot or vehicle traffic. The deepest roots typically reach a maximum of 7 feet. Beech is fairly drought-tolerant but will thrive better if provided ample water in summer.

Pruning

The best time to prune beech hedge is when it is dormant in late fall, winter, or early spring. Beech hedge has a moderate growth rate of 6-12 inches per year, so one yearly pruning should be plenty to keep it shaped and under control. Pruning in summer may cause stress to the plants.

European beech hedge (Fagus Sylvatica) Pruning

Winter is the best time to prune fagus hedge, or in late fall or early spring when they are still dormant.

Pollution

Although beech does not thrive in salty coastal climates, it is tolerant of urban pollution and is a great city tree.

Fagus Sylvatica is an excellent choice for urban plantings as it is tolerant of urban pollution

Beech hedge is an excellent choice for urban plantings as it is tolerant of urban pollution.

Pests

There are no major pests for beech, and any issues can usually be cleared up without any permanent damage to the plants. Beech are mostly deer-resistant as well.

European beech has wonderful resistance to most pests and diseases, and is quite deer resistant as well (in winter when deer are hungry the beech don’t have anything for them to eat, and in summer the deer have other choices that they prefer).

The one pest unique to beech that you might notice is the Woolly Beech Aphid. It only affects beech plants and can be somewhat alarming to discover. The good news is that fagus sylvatica won’t cause any permanent damage to the plants and is easy to treat. Typically, people don’t even bother to treat it because it is barely noticeable. The only annoying thing about it is the aphids produce a sticky “honeydew” on the leaves which may attract ants, and in severe infestations it can provide a place for a sooty black mold to grow. However, that is only in extreme cases which are rare.

Treatment can be as simple as blasting the affected leaves with a strong jet of water, or you can use an insecticidal soap or oil which has very low toxicity. Since these aphids only affect beech, you don’t need to worry about them spreading to other types of plants. Beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps can also help control populations of the woolly beech aphid and other insect pests.

To learn more, visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=725 and http://oregonstate.edu/dept/nurspest/woollybeechaphid.htm

Fagus sylvatica

Hardiness

Hardy to USDA Zone 5, Fagus is a great option for colder areas.

Why Choose InstantHedge?

Beech hedges are often purchased as bare-root trees or small whips. This will give you small plants for a low starting price. However, Fagus sylvatica does not grow at a very fast rate, so you will have to wait 4-5 years to achieve a full, finished hedge. You will also run into problems with losing plants from disease and damage because of the stress caused by bare-rooting plants and planting too small.

Europeans developed a brilliant system that would allow people to buy an “instant hedge,” and we are proud to be the first and only nursery to bring the technology to the USA. When you purchase a beech InstantHedge, you are guaranteed a vigorous, healthy, finished hedge from day one. The hedges will arrive pre-spaced and pre-shaped with a vibrant root system that is ready to grow and establish. Why not start with a hedge that has already been finished by hedge experts?

Fagus sylvatica hedge

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With sophisitcated hedges, even a garage/storage building like shown here can be made less noticeable in a commercial landscape application.

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In winter, golden brown leaves remain on the European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge brightening up this winter landscape.

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Even after going dormant for the season, beech retains its bronze, leathery leaves to keep providing privacy for the rest of the year.

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Late into autumn, the leaves remain on European beech (Fagus sylvatica) for superior privacy in all seasons.

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Even in winter, European beech (Fagus sylvatica) holds its copper leaves to provide an attractive hedge year-round.

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Even in winter, European beech (Fagus sylvatica) holds its copper leaves to provide an attractive hedge year-round.

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Late into autumn, the leaves remain on European beech (Fagus sylvatica) for superior privacy in all seasons.

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This private courtyard shows two different types of hedges, the evergreen yew (Taxus) hedges and the uniquely copper-colored European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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Khaki-brown leaves cling to the European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedges outside this medieval castle.

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Beech has a brilliant fall color display of gold, orange, and bronze.

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Khaki-brown leaves cling to the European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedges outside this medieval castle.

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Simple but impactful, this design uses a mix of colors and heights of beech hedges to make a statement while providing ultimate privacy.

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This dramatic, modern design further highlights the pond by reflecting the beech hedge up toward the sky.

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Garden rooms are an effective way to give a garden dimension and usefulness. Create separation with a beech hedge.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) trimmed to varying heights creates an intentional screen for this country garden courtyard.

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Footpaths are neatly bordered in a knot garden style with boxwood (Buxus) hedges in this country garden.

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Walkways are evenly bordered with boxwood (Buxus) hedges while the entire country garden is framed with European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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This modern garden effectively uses European beech (Fagus sylvatica) to obstruct a view of the neighboring brick wall.

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Older hedges like this European beech (Fagus sylvatica) can be trained to form an arch or gable.

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Older hedges like this European beech (Fagus sylvatica) can be trained to form an arch or gable.

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After several years of careful training, this European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge has been kept low but another portion has been encouraged to grow into an arch.

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Different sections of this country cottage garden have been distinctively marked by layers of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge.

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An entryway or courtyard in a modern landscape can give an air of elegance with the use of well-manicured hedges.

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Both a taller European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and a shorter yew (Taxus) hedge help to border this outdoor room.

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The shorter boxwood (Buxus) hedge in front is mirrored on a larger scale by the purple-and-green European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge on the right.

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The use of InstantHedges can create definition between areas of the landscape like in this public garden at an estate.

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Where homes are fairly close to each other, a well-placed hedge like this yew (Taxus) can make your outdoor space more inviting.

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This cottage garden is quiet and private thanks to the tall beech privacy hedge.

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Flowering plants are readily contained within beds by using a low boxwood (Buxus) hedge as a border in a country garden such as this.

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Deer and other unwanted visitors can be deterred from entering an herb/vegetable garden by creating a barrier around the beds.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is used to make this narrow city lot seem more secluded.

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A serene backdrop is created by using European beech (Fagus sylvatica) for privacy on this city lot.

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A small patio space beside this suburban home effectively extends the living area of the home by using an InstantHedge along with a trellis/arbor for a roof of vining plants!

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A garden nook such as this feels much more cozy with living hedges of yew (Taxus) in the foreground and beech (Fagus) in the background rather than cold, impersonal fences.

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A garden nook such as this feels much more cozy with living hedges of yew (Taxus) in the foreground and beech (Fagus) in the background rather than cold, impersonal fences.

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This garden room is made elegant and modern with the beech hedge design surrounding the seating area.

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This outdoor dining room is given separation from the rest of the garden by the surrounding beech hedges, but is not tall enough to impede the view or conversations.

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Beech hedges can easily be grown in planters anywhere, including patios, balconies, and green roofs.

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Artistic symmetry can be implemented in an elegant country garden with the use of uniformly-grown boxwood (Buxus) InstantHedges with a taller European beech (Fagus) hedge behind.

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A sophisticated knot garden like this can be achieved instantly with boxwood (Buxus) hedges as well as European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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A sophisticated knot garden like this can be achieved instantly with boxwood (Buxus) hedges as well as European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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A private area around an outdoor pool is easily provided with a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) InstantHedge.

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A private area around an outdoor pool is easily provided with a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) InstantHedge.

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With the help of an arbor, a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge can be pruned to form a picturesque arch over the path to a residence.

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This elegant water feature is made to feel even more serene with a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge for privacy.

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A formal landscape can be readily achieved with the use of a leafy hedge like this European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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One must examine this photo carefully to see through the hedge an effectively-obscured building on the other side!

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This modern garden appears even more refined with a well-placed shorter European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge along the lawn.

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Multiple types of hedges can be used in a hotel courtyard like this to integrate several layers of textures and colors.

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Stone features like this fountain are made more inviting with the use of a leafy hedge like this European beech (Fagus).

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A country or cottage garden such as this feels a bit more cozy when framed by a leafy hedge like this European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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A thoughtful border provides some privacy to this outdoor living space at a cottage in The Netherlands.

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A secret garden gate is revealed between the beech hedges for a sense of fun and intrigue.

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Swimming areas have a great need for privacy, which these beech hedges supply beautifully.

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This modern outdoor area feels like a secluded resort even though it is in a busy suburban area.

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This outdoor room looks stunning with a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge.

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The flowers in this garden have even more stunning color when set against the bright green background of a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge.

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The flowers in this garden have even more stunning color when set against the bright green background of a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) creates an effective screen and sound barrier along a busy road.

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This cottage garden is much more private with the intentional use of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) as a hedge.

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European beech, while deciduous, provides a lush, green screen from spring to early fall.

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Even urban dwellings have have a private patio for summer gatherings when surrounded by a tall beech hedge.

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Create a peaceful, private spot to rest by placing a bench against a tall beech privacy hedge.

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Purple beech is a unique hedge that is sure to make an impact in any landscape design!

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In this application, the European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge has been limbed for an interesting effect in this landscape.

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A striking formal garden can be created using simply beech hedges of varying heights and colors.

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A European beech (Fagus sylvatica) InstantHedge can make this residential yard much more private and inviting.

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To create definition between areas of the garden, hedges can be used as walls in contemporary gardens to create unique "rooms."

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Older European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedges can be pruned to create shapes or even structures like this arch.

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Older hedges like this European beech (Fagus sylvatica) can be trained to form an arch or gable.

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Beech hedges can be planted in blocks to create patterns to highlight other plants and sculptures.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) creates a boundary between this cottage garden and an open field.

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Using hedges to form rounded contours in a landscape creates a contemporary feel when juxtaposed with vertical accents.

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The vibrant green leaves on this European beech (Fagus sylvatica) create a marvelous border for this stone path.

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An open grassy space is transformed to a private seating area with the use of these European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedges.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) forms an elegant boundary between this garden and the landscape on the other side.

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A formal landscape can be readily achieved with the use of a leafy hedge like this European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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Multiple types of hedges can be used in a hotel courtyard like this to integrate several layers of textures and colors.

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This seating area is thoughtfully enclosed by a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) InstantHedge.

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Stone features like this fountain are made more inviting with the use of a leafy hedge like this European beech (Fagus).

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Even soon after planting, InstantHedges provide elegance and sophistication to a commercial landscape.

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This lawn outside a business is made more welcoming with a short European beech (Fagus sylvatica) screen.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) defines the boundaries of this back yard while adding life to the landscape.

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A stunning water feature bordered with colorful herbs and flowers but closed in for privacy with a European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge in the background.

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Multiple kinds of hedge can be used in conjunction with each other to provide varied textures in a modern garden.

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Multiple kinds of hedge can be used in conjunction with each other to provide varied textures in a modern garden.

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This European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge is used to line a driveway and create a formal entry.

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Beech hedges add beauty, privacy, and quiet to public parks.

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A driveway framed by trees can be made even more distinguished with a hedge border behind.

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A driveway framed by trees can be made even more distinguished with a hedge border behind.

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Tall beech hedges form a dramatic screen on either side of this path.

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) makes a stately background for displaying art in the garden.

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After many years, European beech (Fagus sylvatica) can be grown to quite a stately wall of bright green foliage!

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This open space feels more private lined with European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

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European beech (Fagus sylvatica) creates an effective screen and sound barrier along a busy road.

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Stunning European beech (Fagus sylvatica) hedge nearing 8' tall.

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Dress up a simple bike rack by adding a green beech hedge behind it.