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.
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