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Just like the leaves of the deciduous tree, the buds of the beech trees have a very characteristic shape. Even before the leaves sprout in spring, you can tell from them that a tree is a copper beech. Worth knowing about the buds of the common beech.

Leaves or flowers can sprout from the buds of the beech tree

This is what the buds of the red beech look like

  • Bud shape: narrow, long pointed, slightly oval
  • Bud length: up to 2 centimeters in length
  • Arrangement: arranged alternately on the tree
  • Colour: reddish brown

The bud is protected by a sheath. It consists of small leaves that lie on top of each other like scales. When sprouting, the scale armor breaks open and leaves and flowers unfold.

Beech buds are firmly attached to the branches and can only be stripped off with difficulty.

The budding begins in spring

The buds of the common beech are already created in the previous year. They are easy to recognize because they form small thickenings on the shoots.

The budding begins in spring. Both the leaves and the inconspicuous flowers sprout from the buds.

By the beginning of the flowering period at the end of April, the leaves have fully developed.

Only older beech trees develop flower buds

Only leaves develop from the buds of young beech trees. It takes up to 20 years for a tree to bear flowers for the first time.

The fruits of the red beech, the slightly poisonous beech nuts, appear even later. A copper beech is only fertile at around 40 years of age, so only then does it form fruit in which seeds ripen.

Since beech hedges are cut frequently, the buds grow almost exclusively into leaves, since the flower buds are removed when they are cut back.

Leave at least three buds when cutting

If you cut the beech so that it branches well, you must leave three buds on each of the young shoots. The new shoots develop from them. If the buds are cut off, the beech cannot branch.


If the terminal buds are at the tip of the shoot, it is definitely a copper beech. In the hornbeam, which looks very similar, the terminal buds are on the side of the shoot. They are also slightly smaller.

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