Beech wood has a very fine grain and yet is hard and strong. Manufactured into parquet, it is quite a forgiving floor and is as tough and hardy as oak. When the freshly harvested trunks are "steamed" during the drying process, the beech wood takes on its distinctive warm pink tone.
From beech sticks to letters
Do you love to read? Then you will love beech! The ancient Germanic tribes carved secret inscriptions into sticks made of beech wood and consulted their beech sticks with magic symbols as oracles before making important decisions. Writing tablets of beech wood that were bound together are said to be the origin of the term "book". The beech plays a central part in the European cultural history: Inspired by an impression of a letter carved in beech wood, Johannes Gutenberg invented the letterpress in 1450.
For humans and animals
The fruits of the beech tree, the beechnuts, are pressed for a very high-quality oil. Beechnuts are edible, but should not be eaten raw in larger quantities because humans don't tolerate them well. Domestic pigs, in contrast, can stomach them without problems. They even used to be fed on beechnuts.
Welcome in the beech period. Until up to about 4,500 years ago, the oak used to be the most common tree type in central Europe. Then the climate deteriorated. The lower temperatures and increased rainfall benefited the beech. Therefore, the time since about 800 B.C. is referred to as the "beech period" in Central Europe. With a share of about 20% in Germany's forest area, the beech tree is today one of our most important deciduous trees and one of our major suppliers of hardwood. No wonder this tree is also called the "queen of deciduous trees".
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