The Franken beech, or Fagus sylvatica 'Franken', is not renowned for bloom, or fragrance nor colorful fruit. It is one of those trees that is, primarily, a single-interest tree and yet it is possibly one of the most highly desired collectible trees in existence. That single-interest is found in the stunning foliage which is capable of brightening the dreariest woodland verge with its bright white marbled leaves. These leaves are particularly pale in earliest spring, barely freckled with green and as the season progresses become more heavily marked. With autumn they turn the same handsome tan of the species beech and are held throughout the winter to spring. The bark is also the usual attractive feature as it is on the species as are the small flowers and spiny beechnuts.
Franken beech is a slow growing, densely branched rounded, small tree best utilized as a foliage shrub for the first several years. It will eventually exceed 10 feet, though ultimate height has yet to be determined. Franken beech should be grown in a sheltered spot protected from harsh winds and scorching sun. It even lends itself quite well to pot culture.

It has the same resistance to disease and insects as the species. It prefers a moist, humusy soil and dislikes extremes of temperature making it suitable for the temperate garden and woodland of the United States, Lower Ontario, the UK and New Zealand and moderate Australia. At this time, it is extremely difficult to obtain, a situation likely to improve in the coming years.

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‘Franken’ beech

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A TREE A DAY

2017