The beech – fagus sylvatica (Fagus being the Celtic god of beech trees) – will grow to a height of 40m and live for several centuries; even longer if coppiced. The dense leaf canopy produced by the beech tree provides a habitat beneath for various rare plants such as the red helleborine. As beech trees come into leaf late in the spring, beech woods are an ideal habitat for English bluebells. Beech tree also play host to a truffle fungus: the fungus provides the tree with nutrients and in return benefits from the sweet sap of the tree. Beechmast – beech nuts – can be by eaten humans although being high in tannins have a bitter taste. This does not prevent other creatures from eating the mast, and is said to be popular with pigs.
Beech wood is widely used for furniture, kitchen utensils, and tool handles. Beech bark was used for writing on – poor man’s vellum – and this may give rise to its association with knowledge and writing.
The earth is filled with you love, Lord; teach me your decrees … Teach me knowledge and good judgement, for I trust your commands. Psalm 119: 64, 66
If knowledge is not put into practice, it does not benefit one. Muhammad Tahiti-ul-Qadri