American Beech

Fagus grandifolia

native


Other Names:
White Beech, Gray Beech, Red Beech, Ridge Beech, Stone Beech, Winter Beech, Carolina Beech, Beechnut Tree


The American Beech is a native tree found throughout Virginia. Beech mast (the nuts) is palatable to a large variety of birds and mammals, and the Passenger Pigeon, one of the most populous bird species in history, relied on the mast for a large part of their diet. One reason Passenger Pigeons became extinct is that beech and oak forests in their range were cut down. The nuts from the tree have no connection with Beech-nut Chewing Gum. Beech wood is strong, heavy, and difficult to cut without power tools. It is used for flooring, containers, furniture, and other purposes. A lot of people vandalize American Beech trees by carving their initials or a message into the smooth gray bark.

Identification Tools

Illinois Wildflowers Friends of the Wildflower Garden Go Botany Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center NC State Extension Floridata

Ranges

North America Virginia

American Beech Tree
Young beech trees on the Ridge Path slope, overlooking the stream bridge

American Beech leaves
Fresh beech leaves in spring, May 5, 2018

American Beech leaves
Fresh beech leaves in spring, May 5, 2018

American Beech Tree
Branches of leaves and beech nuts

American Beech Tree
A closer view of beech nuts, and a dangling flower

American Beech Tree
Beech trees with their leaves in winter. Unlike most deciduous trees, the leaves remain on the tree throughout the winter, making them easy to spot.

American Beech leaves
Dry beech leaves

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