Beech trees are an amazing species. I went on a guided nature walk through the APC (Assawompsett Ponds Complex) lands last spring and learned the reason for certain species of trees growing in "groves" . Beech trees, in particular, hang on to their foliage until the following spring because their leaves emit and then "drip" a type of germination inhibitor (like a poison to all other plant species) as far as the branches spread. Even when spring arrives, mother nature has still more safe guards: as the new and swelling buds are busy strangling the hold that last year's die hard leaves have, on windy dies, the buds actually "help" the old leaves to hang on so they don't get blown away. They are supposed to fall directly under the tree to continue to aid in the anti-germination process. At the same time that the leaves act as an anti-germinator for all other species, the leaves also posess a hormone that encourages the germination of beech trees! Hence, a beech grove! Nature is amazing!