American beech
Fagus grandifolia

American beech is a long lived eastern deciduous tree, useful for its wood quality and production of nuts valuable to wildlife diets. Slow growing and very shade tolerant, American beech is a climax successional species.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      The dense wood is used in turning and steam bending, flooring, furniture, veneer, containers, plywood, pulp, charcoal, and fuelwood.


Wildlife Value
      Triangular shaped beech nuts are eaten by a large variety of wildlife.
          Attracts: mice, squirrels, chipmunks, fox, a variety of birds, deer, bear

Regeneration methods
      High shade tolerance and slow growth rate call for methods that provide some degree of canopy cover, such as shelterwood and group and single tree selections.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
beech bark disease unusual and rough spots on trunks of trees

Fun facts
Beech is very shade tolerant, and assumes dominance on many northern hardwood sites in association with sugar maple and yellow birch. Older, large trees are often hollow and were once used commonly as culverts in road building. Beech bark disease causes significant mortality and defect. This “disease” is caused by an initial invasion by beech scale followed by infection with a fungus which can severely deform the bark and kill trees.
Fagus: Latin name from Greek "phagein" (to eat - edible nuts) / grandifolia: grand foliage
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu