American Beech
Fagus grandifolia

A tall, clonally reproducing tree with long, horizontal branches, ranging from 60 to 80 ft. tall, producing edible, triangular nuts. An important timber species used for cheap furniture, tool handles, and veneer. Also a popular ornamental tree but is susceptible to beech-bark disease, a fungus which infects the phloem. 

BUDS: End buds are long, slender, and pointed with many bud scales. The lateral buds are smaller, 2-ranked, and diverge at nearly right angles from the twig. 

TWIGS: Encircled by stipule scars at each leaf scar; true end bud. 

BARK: Very easily idenified. Light gray, smooth, and thin. Bark resembles elephant legs and is popular for carving initials. 

HABITAT: Mesic forests with well drained to somewhat poorly drained soils of a wide range of textures. 


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