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Tree Browser

With these characteristics: None

Fagus grandifolia

Beech, American

Fagaceae - Beech and Oak

Description

Leaves: Dark green to blue-green and shiny on top, pale green and usually hairless beneath, with hair tufts near veins and midrib; tends to retain some straw-colored leaves during winter; simple; alternate; egg-shaped and elongated; generally larger leaves than European beech (2" to 5" long and 3/4" to 2-1/2" wide); tapering to a slender point; bases are broadly wedge-shaped; edges coarsely and sharply toothed; thin; more veins than European beech (11 to 15 pairs), veins parallel; deciduous.

Twigs/buds: Twigs vary in color from light brown or olive green to silver-gray or ash-gray (with age); shiny, hairless, slender, round, and sometimes zigzag; leaf scars small.  Buds brown and shiny; slender, lance-shaped, sharp-pointed, about 3/4" to 1" long; imbricate (regularly overlapping scales).

Flowers/fruit: Flowers monoecious; lack petals; male flowers in 1", ball-like clusters/heads, attached to hanging stalks; female flowers in spikes or small clusters (2-4 in number); typically flowers from late April to early May as leaves emerge. Fruit an edible nut, triangular, 1/2" to 3/4" long, 1-3 in number; three-winged; enclosed within a prickly, 4-part involucre/husk/bur with hooked prickles; matures in one year.

Bark: Pale bluish gray to silver in color when young, but darker with age; sometimes mottled; smooth; thin.

Wood: Important where native beech lumber is produced in the central and middle Atlantic states; light brown to red-brown; not durable, heavy, strong, tough, hard, highly shock-resistant; diffuse-porous, obvious growth layers; larger rays conspicuous; high suitability for steam bending; should be carefully dried due to substantial shrinking; machines smooth, easily treated; used for furniture, flooring, veneer, handles, containers, and railroad ties.

General:  Native to eastern North America from Nova Scotia to Texas and Florida - the only beech species native to the U.S. A strong, good looking tree with a compact, rounded, wide-spreading canopy and a wide-spreading root system. Often grows from 50' to 80' tall. Tends to grow moderately slow, though faster in youth. Does not survive soils which are wet or compacted. Some people have found transplanting American beech to be difficult. Shade tolerant.

Landscape Use: Could be planted in Utah, but it is not readily available from nurseries. Similar to European beech, but has bigger leaves and darker colored bark. Its fall color is a beautiful golden bronze. Its nuts are preferred by many birds and squirrels. Zones 3-9.

Cultivars: 'Cameron', 'Diamond Bark'.

Characteristics

General

Family:
Fagaceae - Beech and Oak
Cultivar Availability:
No
Hardiness Zone:
3-9
Type:
Broadleaf
Utah Native:
No

Growth

Growth Rate:
Low
Mature Height:
Medium
Longevity:
High
Is Good Under Power Lines:
No
Crown Shape:
Oval

Ornamental

Bark:
Yes
Fall Color:
Yes
Flowers:
No
Foliage:
Yes
Fruit:
No

Tolerence

Shade:
High
Salt:
Low
Drought:
Medium
Poor Drainage:
Low
Alkalinity:
Medium
Transplanting:
Medium