American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up American Beech
Give a thumbs up Beech-Nut Tree

Botanical names:
Fagus grandifolia Accepted
Fagus americana Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9a
Plant Height: 50 - 120 feet
Plant Spread: 40 - 60 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Time: Spring
Uses: Shade Tree
Edible Parts: Fruit
Dynamic Accumulator: K (Potassium)
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Monoecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Photo: Tim Ross

Honey Bees in the Garden:  AprilHoney Bees in the Garden: April
April 10, 2011

April showers bring May flowers, which means plenty of food for honey bees. Gardeners will soon be busy setting out the plants they bought or grew from seeds. And now that the number of honey bees has increased, the honey supers are being filled with surplus honey.

(Full article10 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Photo: Tim Ross
By SongofJoy
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Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PADate: 2017-09-28looking up trunk
By ILPARW
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Credit: User:SB_Johnny
By SongofJoy
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Location: Mercer Botanical Garden  Houston, TxDate: 2014-05-19
By jmorth
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Location: Quebec, CanadaDate: 2009-01-24Photo courtesy of: Cephas
By admin
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Date: 2010-10-11Photo courtesy of: Cephas
By admin
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2010-07-11solitary tree in yard
By ILPARW
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Location: Frasier, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-01-05lone tree in a cemetery
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-01-31lone tree in yard in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: French Creek State Park in southeast PADate: 2010-01-09looking up a trunk
By ILPARW
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Location: Wayne, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-06-18three trunks of three trees
By ILPARW
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Location: Ambler, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-08-17the fruit of husks over nuts
By ILPARW
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Location: Tyler Arboretum in southeast PADate: 2010-10-28fall color of tree
By ILPARW
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Date: 2009-02-07Photo courtesy of: Cephas
By admin
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Date: 2012-03-11Photo courtesy of: Dcrjsr
By admin
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Date: 2013-05-06Photo courtesy of: Famartin
By admin
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Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PADate: 2017-09-28mostly beech trunks in forest
By ILPARW
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Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PADate: 2017-09-28big beech trunk and others
By ILPARW
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Location: Pennypack Park in Philadelphia, PADate: 2016-09-22old trunk
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Oct 20, 2011 5:48 PM

Honey bees get pollen and honeydew from this plant

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Posted by Sharon (Calvert City, KY - Zone 7a) on Dec 3, 2011 1:17 AM

The American beech bark and leaves have astringent and antiseptic properties that account for whatever medicinal effectiveness the plant was claimed to have in the past. Today it's valued chiefly for its wood; it's used in flooring, furniture, crates and tool handles.

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Posted by plantladylin (Florida - Zone 9b) on Mar 3, 2012 4:13 PM

The American Beech is a native North American tree that can attain heights to 120', with smooth, silver-gray bark and older bark that resembles elephant skin. It is a strong hardwood tree with simple alternate 2"- 4" leaves that are borne on a short petiole. The leaves are dark green on top with a light green reverse side. The tree foliage is quite showy in the fall with it's copper to yellow color. The American Beech forms large surface roots, is moderately drought tolerant once established and is resistant to pests and disease. The beech nuts are edible to birds and humans.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 7, 2017 2:23 PM

It is a magnificent large tree that is one of the climax forest trees of the eastern forests from Nova Scotia and far southeast Canada down to northwest Florida to far eastern Texas, Arkansas, southeast Missouri and southern Illinois through most of Indiana, northeast Wisconsin and upper Michigan and back to Canada. It is a slow growing tree starting out growing about 1 foot/year and lives about 200 to 300 years. It does not have a taproot, but a wide system of mostly shallow roots. It is very sensitive to any ground disturbance; therefore, any nearby construction or changing the environment around the tree from forest to lawn is often deadly for the tree. Its nuts are of very high value to birds and mammals and the foliage supports a good number of beneficial insects. It needs a good quality soil that is usually moist, and it needs acid pH. I once saw an American and a European Beech growing right together on the campus of the University of Illinois, both doing well, where the pH had to be about 7.0 that is typical of east central IL. It is sold by a few large, diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries and can be a good yard tree.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130
Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) by plantladylin Mar 4, 2012 6:34 PM 31
is this an elm or not by Bonsaigirly Oct 13, 2011 4:19 AM 5

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