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
Image
Common names
  • American Beech
  • North American Beech
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Fagus grandifolia
  • Synonym: Fagus americana

Photo Gallery
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania
Date: 2022-11-26
trunk with carving on bark
Location: Bonsai Court at the Conservatory, Hidden Lake Gardens, Michigan
Date: 2018-04-30
Fagus grandifolia bonsai specimen.  Age at the time of the photo
Location: Linwood Nature Preserve, Gainesville, GA
Date: 2023-02-16
Location: Slate Run Metro Park, Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: 2-17-19
Location: B. Everett Jordan Dam/lake park Chatham county, North Carolina
Date: February 3, 2023
American beech #368; RAB page 370, 55-1-1. LHB page 329, 50-1-1,
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania
Date: 2022-11-26
full-grown tree above Schuylkill River in November
Location: my garden in Dawsonville, GA (zone 7b north Geogia mountains)
Date: 2022-02-01
Location: B. Everett Jordan Dam/lake park Chatham county, North Carolina
Date: February 3, 2023
American beech #368; RAB page 370, 55-1-1. LHB page 329, 50-1-1,
Location: Linwood Nature Preserve, Gainesville, GA
Date: 2023-02-16
Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PA
Date: 2017-09-28
looking up trunk
Photo by cwhitt
Photo by cwhitt

Photo: Tim Ross
Location: Blaine TN
Date: 2019-06-12
It's loaded!
Location: Simcoe County, Ontario
Date: March 22, 2021
Marcescence (retention of dead leaves) on a wild specimen
Location: French Creek State Park in southeast PA
Date: 2010-01-09
looking up a trunk
Location: Mercer Botanical Garden  Houston, Tx
Date: 2014-05-19
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-07-11
solitary tree in yard
Location: Frasier, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-01-05
lone tree in a cemetery
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-01-31
lone tree in yard in winter
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-06-18
three trunks of three trees
Location: Ambler, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-08-17
the fruit of husks over nuts
Location: Tyler Arboretum in southeast PA
Date: 2010-10-28
fall color of tree
Location: Simcoe County, Ontario
Date: March 2021
Marcescence (dead leaf retention) on a young tree. Species in bac
Photo by SongofJoy

Credit: User:SB_Johnny

Credit: User:SB_Johnny
Location: Quebec, Canada
Date: 2009-01-24
Photo courtesy of: Cephas

Date: 2010-10-11
Photo courtesy of: Cephas

Date: 2009-02-07
Photo courtesy of: Cephas
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: 2/1/21
Rocky Fork Metro Park, Columbus, OH
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA, Zone 6b
Date: Rocky Fork Metro Park, Columbus, OH
Location: Blaine TN
Date: 2019-06-12
Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PA
Date: 2017-09-28
mostly beech trunks in forest
Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve in southeast PA
Date: 2017-09-28
big beech trunk and others
Location: Pennypack Park in Philadelphia, PA
Date: 2016-09-22
old trunk
Location: Hollis, New Hampshire
Date: August 11, 2013
Location: Oscar Taylor House in Freeport, Illinois. U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Date: July 22, 2007
photo by Ivo Shandor

Date: 2007
photo by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT
Location: Hollis, New Hampshire
Date: August 11, 2013

Date: 2012-03-11
Photo courtesy of: Dcrjsr

Date: 2013-05-06
Photo courtesy of: Famartin
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada - near Lake Ontario, zone 6a
Date: 2013-06-15
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada - near Lake Ontario, zone 6a
Date: 2013-06-15
Comments:
  • Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Mar 3, 2012 4:13 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 7, 2017 2:23 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by Sharon (Calvert City, KY - Zone 7a) on Dec 3, 2011 1:17 AM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Oct 20, 2011 5:48 PM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get pollen and honeydew from this plant
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