American Beech – ID Sheet

Common Name: American Beech

Scientific Name: Fagus grandifolia

Other Names: North American Beech

Identification:

  • Smooth gray bark
  • 50-70 feet tall with rounded crown
  • Alternate leave growth
  • Leaves are elliptical, single toothed, and dark green
  • Leaves often stay on the tree during the winter

Habitat:

  • Grows in mix hardwood forest
  • Found in moist or loamy soils
  • Grows in coastal areas and up to 3,300 feet

Uses:

  • Beechnuts can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute
  • The wood is fairly quality. It is used in cheap furniture, pulp wood, and baskets

Interesting Facts:

  • The American Beech is native to North America
  • The American Beech is now confined to the eastern United States
  • It is an indicator species for Northern Hardwood Forest

Observation Notes:

  • December 2020- Northern Vermont- I was walking in the woods and noticed the Beech tree still holding on to its leaves. The leaves are very noticeable in the winter woods. This led to a deeper investigation into the tree.
  • The older taller Beech trees seem to drop more of their leaves
  • I would like to observe this tree through a complete year. I don’t think I have ever noticed a Beechnut on the tree or on the ground.
  • Questions that still need to be answered:
    • Why does the Beech Tree hold on to it’s leaves?
    • What does Beechnut coffee taste like?

Resources:

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