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Globally unique

The continuous expansion of the beech

It only exists in Europe, nowhere else in the world. It is an extremely successful tree, which characterises an entire continent. Its success story begins 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial period.

Back then, a thick layer of ice covered large sections of Europe. Beech forests had only survived as small remnants in Southern Europe. When the ice melted, the beech began to expand northwards from its isolated refuge areas in the South. This process is still ongoing today, even though the ice age is long gone.

This phenomenon, the re-colonisation of large sections of a continent by a single tree species and the still ongoing expansion of the European beech, is globally unique.