Skip to main content

American beech

Green beech leaves

American beech

Beech tree TreeNA post and plant description

About the beech tree

American beech - Fagus grandifolia

Identification: American beech is recognizable by its smooth, thin gray bark and moderately toothed, ribbed oval leaves which come to a tip. Its leaves turn golden and bronze in autumn. In winter, the tree can be identified by its long, pointed winter buds. In autumn, they produce brown beechnuts. Beeches are slow-growing shade trees. 

Height: 50-70 feet 

Preferences: Full sun. Hardiness zones 4-9. Drought-sensitive.

Wildlife value: Beech nuts are eaten by mice, squirrels, chipmunks, black bears, deer, fox, ruffed grouse, ducks and blue jays.

Uses: Wood is hard, close grained and usually pale in color. This wood is typically used for fuel, flooring, furniture, tool handles and woodenware.

Threats: Beech bark disease, caused by a sap-feeding scale insect and a fungus, threatens Michigan's beech trees. Affected trees decline in health and eventually die.