Every five years a beech tree produces at least thirty thousand beechnuts …. It is sexually mature at about 80 to 150 years of age, depending on how much light it gets where it’s growing. Assuming it grows to be 400 years old, it can fruit at least sixty times and produce a total of about 1.8 million beechnuts. From these, exactly one will develop into a full-grown tree – and in forest terms, that is a high rate of success, similar to winning the lottery. All the other hopeful embryos are either eaten by animals or broken down into humus by fungi or bacteria.
- The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllben