Piancone Beech

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Fagus sylvatica (Fagaceae)

This huge beech grows in Val Piancone and has a crown easily seen even from far away; as a matter of fact, it reaches about 98 ft in diameter. The main trunk is also quite impressive, with a circumference of 30.5 ft. They say that at least 100 sheep can rest and shelter from the weather in the shade of this majestic tree.
The tree grows on a slope and in order to survive it has developed an imposing intertwined system of roots, thus ensuring stability, grip, and the very strength of the tree that goes on growing, year after year.

How to get there:

Park your car in the industrial area of Premana “Giabbio”, then go across the small bridge on the Varrone Torrent and follow the route to Val Marcia. Once reached Alpe Chiarino, take the trail which leads to the gigantic beech. It’s a 30-minute walk.

Botanical Card

Western beeches, as the name suggests, are widespread throughout Western Europe. In central and northern Europe, this species grows in the plains, while in the southernmost areas it is usually found in mountain environments.

In Italy, it is widespread in the mountain areas of all the regions and on the eastern Mediterranean islands. Its best living environment is in the Alps, between 1.970 ft. and 4.265 ft., although beeches can be found even at much higher altitudes, between 3.280 ft. and 5.577 ft. in peninsular Italy (Pignatti, 1982).

It is a mesophilic and sciaphilous species, which prefers loose, fresh, fertile, and well-drained soils. It can form pure (beech) or mixed forests with white firs or other broad-leaved trees, according to different latitudes and altitudes.

The western beech features strong and thick basal shoots which allows the development of new ones from the old stump. The wood of this species is hard and quite resistant, but easy to craft: for these reasons it is used to make furniture and household goods, while it also provides excellent firewood and very good coal.

Photo source: http://www.lavalsassina.com/foto.php?id=1264&com=0

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


23834 Premana(LC)

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