Rupar’s beech under Dolnje Impolje

According to data from the official records of the Institute of Republic of Slovenia for Nature Protection (ZRSVN), Rupar’s beech is the thickest beech tree in the region of Posavje. It is in good condition, vital and well over 100 years old. 

Circumference: 487 cm 

Diameter: 155 cm

Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

General description

The beech is an up to 40 meters tall and 1 meter thick deciduous tree with a large rounded canopy and a medium depth root system. The bark is thin, gray and smooth, and only in exceptional cases are there cracks at the bottom. Its fruit are beechnuts with a copula, and the husk opens during autumn maturation with four flaps.


Habitat

It prefers fresh and deep, calcium-rich soil. It tolerates the winter cold relatively well, though new growth is sensitive to spring frost and prolonged drought. The common beech is a shade-loving tree species.

Distribution
It is naturally distributed in most of Central and Western Europe, in the north we can find it in southern England and the southern end of Scandinavia, but it also grows in along the southern European mountains (Pyrenees, the Apennines). On the east it grows up to Ukraine, on the southeast even on the Balkan Peninsula. In the Alps it grows up to 1700 and in the Apennines to 1950 meters altitude.

Its role in the environment
Common beech is a builder or companion of various plant communities. Among the forest types in Slovenia there is a prevalence of various beech tree forests with 56.3 % and fir-beech forests with 13.8 %. This means that the beech is more or less represented in 70.1 % of Slovenian forests. Its wood stock was the same as that of spruce in 2001 and amounted to 31.9% of the total wood stock.

Uses
In Slovenia it is among the economically most important tree species. It has a hard, tough, elastic – though less resistant outdoors – timber with a lot of heating power. It is used for furniture, parquet, plywood, railroad tiles, cellulose and the acquisition of coal. The nuts are edible if cooked and raw beechnuts were once used to feed pigs.