Roble Beech (Nothofagus obliqua)


Roble Beech will be shipped from mid-October, once new leaves have hardened and are safe to transport.

Nothofagus obliqua, known as the Roble Beech, is a deciduous tree found in South America, from 33 to 43° south latitude in Chile and Argentina. It is found in mountain forests, avoiding the wettest regions where it is typically found growing adjacent to Nothofagus alpina and the Chilean Cedar. It can be found in Argentina in the Neuquén province, near the Chilean border, and in Chile from Maule, to Ñuble, Bío Bío, La Araucanía, Los Ríos and the Los Lagos regions.

Nothofagus obliqua is found at low to medium elevations in central and southern Chile where it can often experience frosts, though these are likely to be short-lived with temperatures falling no lower than around -8°C. The plant can also tolerate occasional short spells of snow lasting up to 2 weeks and short periods without rain, making this specimen mildly drought tolerant. During years of drought, it is best to mulch before warmer weather sets in, and to moderately water at least twice per week.

A deciduous tree to 40 metres in height with a spread of 6 to 8 metres, usually with an imperfectly straight trunk and a slender canopy. Trees flush quite early in spring, with one branch typically preceding another, and the young foliage is an exquisitely fresh green for a few weeks; autumn colours tend to yellow. In winter, the delicate herringbone tracery of the remarkably slender twigs is attractive, and some trees develop a picturesque, weeping habit.

In its native forests, Nothofagus obliqua can reach ages as great as 450 years, and specimens over 100 years old are found in places such as the UK and Ireland. Expect a long-lived tree when grown in optimal conditions. In the Australian context, it will thrive in cooler, wetter parts of the country but will also tolerate inland and Mediterranean climates, so long as rainfall exceeds 600mm per annum. Shelter away from frosty positions and hot, drying winds. Although quite tall, elegant and stately, due to its rapid growth rate as a sapling, the Roble Beech is not suitable as a windbreak. Trees up to 4 metres tall can be successfully established, though the optimum size for transplanting is about 30 – 80cm. The roots are very sensitive to desiccation and extreme care should be taken when moving plants. Out of all of the Nothofagus species found in South America, Nothofagus obliqua is most suited to southeastern Australian conditions.


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