European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a large deciduous tree, widely distributed in Central and Western Europe. With around 250 known uses for its wood, beech is one of the most important and diversely used trees in Europe. The wood is highly appreciated for use in furniture, flooring, staircases and musical instruments, as well as for plywood, veneering and pulp. Due to its high energetic potential, beech is also coppiced for firewood and charcoal. The tree further provides nourishment to several birds and animals, especially when fruiting occurs, every 5 to 8 years.
The European beech favours a humid atmosphere and well-drained soils which its roots can easily penetrate. On favourable sites, beech is widely distributed as it out-competes other tree species due to its excellent tolerance to shade.