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Beech tree, a plant that we find in the forests, in many European forests, belonging to the Fagaceae family. Its leaf was chosen as a symbol in the logo of the 16th Winter Olympic Games in Albertville but it is best known for its wood.
Who could admire the beauty of the beech woods, he certainly remembers him for this too. In Italy there is no shortage of them, and I will show you a few, all of Europe is covered with them since this tree is present in almost the entire continent, from southern Sweden to the mountains of Sicily, from Great Britain to Russia.
There foliage of beech it has a conical shape but when it grows it tends to widen, it always remains very dense and thick but does not renounce to proceed towards the sky, up to heights of about 20-30 meters. The trunk of this tree is straight, it never presents strange twisted shapes, when young it is cylindrical, then some grooves may appear even abundant but never olive style, always maintaining its vertical direction in a decisive way.
There Beech bark it is grayish in color, rather thin and smooth, sometimes shiny. Leaves emerge from the branches, attached via a short stalk. They have an oval, elliptical shape, develop for about 10 cm, maximum 15, a little wavy. They may have reddish shades at the beginning but then they tend more and more to dark green while in their lower part they are slightly lighter.
THE flowers of this plant they are unisexual, the male ones are spherical catkins, the female ones are found in pairs within the same dome, the same one that in correspondence, a few months after the appearance of the flowers, will offer two fruits to our sight. For those who have not already seen them, walking through a forest, it is trigonal nuts, with an envelope with sharp, non-pungent appendages. Their name is "Beechnuts".
Beech grows well in areas characterized by a certain atmospheric humidity, adapts to acidic or basic soils, and is often close to fir which appreciates similar climatic and geological environments.
Beech in Italy
The beech is the most common forest species in Italian woods, on our territory it covers a total area of over one million hectares. Of all the species, only one is the one we can meet while walking through Italian woods: that of Fagus sylvatica L .. It is a very common plant in the Alps and the Apennines, where it forms 100% Beech woods, or even welcoming other trees such as Abies alba Mill. or the Picea abies Karst.
To find it with certainty, an altitude of about 500 m in the Alps and 900 m in the Apennines must be kept, but if the climatic conditions are in its favor, it also lives much lower. For example on the Gargano and near the Umbra Forest. For those who do not want to give up the spectacle of colorful autumn beech trees, you can easily choose while in Italy, between that of Monte Cimino, in the municipality of Soriano nel Cimino, and that of the "Gran bosco da Reme" of Cansiglio Faggete. Or take a trip to the Casentino Forest Park.
The Beech tree it is often connected as a practical thought, to its wood, actually we make widespread use of it, for different and very important purposes, as well as almost daily. Even non-professionals in the furniture sector have very often heard "In beech wood", but knowing its characteristics is a whole different story.
The wood of this plant is rather light but also easily attacked by woodworms, to tell the truth it is not of the highest quality, there is much better around, yet it is still widely used in construction and carpentry work. It is found used for furniture, railway sleepers, plywood and cellulose and it is also an excellent fuel.
By changing the environment, we find the Beech tree also as an ornamental plant, in parks and gardens. In particular, the most suitable species for this purpose are that of Fagus sylvatica var. pendula, with long drooping branches, that of Fagus sylvatica var. purpurea, recognizable by the wine-red leaves, and that of Fagus sylvatica var. asplenifolia, a plant with deeply engraved leaves.
Not only wood but also i Beech fruits, once the pericarp has been removed (poisonous !!!) they are roasted as substitutes for chestnuts, hazelnuts or almonds. Or roasted, like a coffee substitute. Not only we humans can taste them and consume them at will, even the animals eat them, the wild boar in primis.
What else can you get from this beautiful plant that makes a show in our forests in autumn? The seeds can be extractedoil, pale in color and sweetish taste. Today it can be used as a condiment, it once was as a fuel. Finally, as well as being admired, the leaves are also harvested to become forage in those places where pastures are scarce.
From the Beech tree you can also get gems, fresh and very useful gems. They are indicated as a stimulant for the activity of Kupfer cells and for the production of gammaglobulins. The recommended dose is 60 drops, to be dissolved in half a glass of scant water, in the morning and only once a day.
If we combine the Beech buds with other drops always gemmoderivate we can obtain excellent natural and targeted remedies. A few examples. In the case of recurrent infections in children, linked to the lack or scarcity of immune defenses, combining 20 drops of Fagus sylvatica with another 20 of Rosehip, to be taken twice a day between meals, excellent results are obtained.
If, on the other hand, the 20 drops of Faagus sylvatica are mixed with as many of Betula verrucosa, then you get a natural help to combat water retention and the overweight associated with it. If we suffer from renal insufficiency, adding 25 drops of Ilex aquifolium to 20 of Fagus sylvatica, 2 times a day between meals, we can obtain evident improvements.
In animating our fireplace, but also for DIY jobs, a little Beech wood it always comes in handy, especially if it is delivered to your home for 15 euros convenient packs and ready to make a nice emberwhich calls to the grill and al barbecue. With the warm season you can make a stock, each box contains 7 kg, in pieces of various sizes.
Recall that the Beech wood it is known to be lacking in elasticity but also very resistant. It has been used as a fuel for some time, I don't know if the ancients grilled, but they certainly used it by setting it on fire and in a useful way. We also find it as wood for musical instruments such as violins and pianos, and for less harmonious rifle butts.
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