Q. Is there a problem with beech trees in Philadelphia? I see alot of dead ones.
We checked with local tree experts who gave us information that may explain why you are seeing dead or dying Beech trees.
Beech trees, both American and European, (Fagus grandifolia and F. sylvatica ) are large, stately landscape trees, appreciated as specimen trees. Because of their size, they are not suitable choices for small yards, nor do they do well as street trees or when planted in constricted urban built landscape settings.
The European (or English) beech (Fagus sylvatica) doesn’t like our hot, humid summers. When European beeches get to be a certain age they start to decline and become susceptible to a variety of ills and stresses that weaken them. Environmental stresses may include drought, inproper pruning, uncontrolled insect infestation and soil compaction.
So, it is possible that the beeches you are noticing in decline are either poorly sited ones (planted in the wrong place) or are European beeches stressed by our hot, wet summers or are suffering from other environmental stresses.