American Beech

Fagus grandifolia

twig, bud, leaf, and fruitLeaves: elliptical to oblong, leathery, serrated, high content of tannin

branch of diseased beech leavesBranching: alternate; buds are long, like a lance, and have a golden color

Bark: smooth, light blue-gray (most distinctive feature)

Height: 70 to 80 ft.

Trunk Diameter: 2 to 3 ft.

Longevity: 300 to 400 yrs.

Tolerance: very tolerant

Range: eastern U.S., except Florida

leaf next to ruler Fun Facts:

  • Wood used in inexpensive furniture and tool handles.
  • Fruit (nut) is eaten by ruffed grouse, wild turkey, bobwhite, pheasant, raccoon, red and gray foxes, whitetail deer, cottontail rabbit, opossum, porcupine, gray, red and flying squirrels.
  • Common to see initials carved in the smooth bark but this is not good for the tree.


Identify Another Tree

This key was developed by "bt" in June 1982. It was put into HTML format by Stephen Ostermiller in July 1997. Copies of the entire guide in zip format that may be taken to camp on a laptop are available to those who write.