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Fagus grandifolia

Common Name(s):

  • American Beech
  • Beech
This plant has low severity poison characteristics
See below
Description

The Fagus grandifolia, commonly called American beech, is native to eastern North America. It is a large deciduous tree typically growing to 50-80’ (less frequently to 120’) tall with a dense, upright-oval to rounded-spreading crown.  It is a low-branched tree with its mature trunk ranging from 2-3’ (less frequently 4’) in diameter.  This tree is slightly salt tolerant. Due to the shallow roots, it is difficult to grow plants under the American beech tree.  

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves:   Fall    Bloom:  Spring     Fruit/Seed/Nut:  Fall

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Beech scale is an occasional problem on this tree.

 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#birds#shade tree#wildlife plant#salt tolerant#tsc#park#playground#cpp#fire#medium flammability#children's garden#large spaces
Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#birds#shade tree#wildlife plant#salt tolerant#tsc#park#playground#cpp#fire#medium flammability#children's garden#large spaces
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Fagus
    Species:
    grandifolia
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Shade tree
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Distribution:
    ME to FL west to TX, OK, MI, IL, MI, and MN east through midwest
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The nuts are eaten by small mammals, white-tailed deer, black bears, foxes, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, ducks, woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatches, American crows and blue jays.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Wind Screen
    Edibility:
    Nutmeats, in small quantities, edible raw or cooked.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 40 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight (2-4 hrs) for only part of the day
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    Nuts are irregularly triangular, shiny brown and edible.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Monoecious yellowish green flowers bloom in April-May on the American beech. It's male flowers form in drooping, long-stemmed, globular clusters and the female flowers in short spikes. Female flowers give way to triangular nuts enclosed by spiny bracts. Beechnuts ripen in fall and are edible.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate simple elliptical to oblong-ovate 2.5-5.5 inch long pinnately-veined leaf
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Trunks have distinctive thin, smooth, gray bark.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Edible
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire
    Salt
    Problems:
    Poisonous
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Stomach irritation.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponic glycoside.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits