Fagus sylvatica

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaFagaceaeFagusFagus sylvatica


F. sylvatica is a large tree found on a wide variety of base-rich to acidic, free-draining soils. It grows in pure woodlands or as standard trees or pollards in wood pasture. It is widely planted outside its native range as woodland, in avenues and as hedges. 0-650 m S. of Garrigill (Cumberland).



World Distribution

European Temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland

Light (Ellenberg): 3

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.7

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1061

Life form information

Height (cm): 3000

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Mega-, meso- and microphanerophyte



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2397

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 799

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 12

Atlas Change Index: -0.62

Weighted Changed Factor: 19

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (185c)
Brown JMB
1953.  Studies on British beechwoods. Forestry Commission Bulletin No. 20.
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1976)
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Rackham O
1980.  Ancient woodland: its history, vegetation and uses in England.
Watt (1931