The members of the Fagaceaefamily are mostly trees and less often shrubs, evergreen and deciduous with simple alternately arranged leaves. The flowers are unisexual, monoecious and collected in male and female inflorescences, pollinated by the wind. The fruit is a nut in a splitting cup-like hardened shell covered with scales or thorns. It is used by dear as main food source in winter.
The species of the family are around900.They are spread primarily on the Northern hemisphere and some of them form extensive plantations and a vegetation cover on huge territories. They are valuable forest species with economic significance some of them being used as ornamental plants as well.
The beech trees are a source of high quality timber that has varied application – in the furniture industry, as building material, in pulp and paper industry etc. The fruits of the sweet chestnut tree (Castanea sativa Mill.) are used for food.