see it clearly
Beech Tree
Leaf Shape Oval with serrated edges
Mature Height 80 to 100 feet
Best Habitat Regions with rich, moist soil
Best Climate Cool to warm
Output Yellowish-green flowers and Beechnuts
Uses Furniture, flooring, charcoal, creosote

Beech Tree

The mighty Beech tree makes a bold statement with little fanfare. Consequently, it is a top pick among homeowners looking for a low maintenance tree to decorate their property. What's more, since the Beech tree genus, known as Fagus, can live up to 400 years, once planted, the specimen will remain an attractive fixture in your yard for generations to come.

Appearance of the Tree

Beech Tree Leaves

Beech Tree Leaves

Like most deciduous trees, the Beech features a towering appearance. It typically grows straight and tall to heights that range between 80 and 100 feet. The roots of the tree are large and muscular, and support the large trunk which rises high into the sky, surpassing other tree canopies in an effort to get the sunlight it needs to grow.

Other noteworthy Beech tree features include:

  • Bark: One of the most eye-pleasing attributes of the Beech tree is its strikingly smooth and sleek bark. Even though the tree can live for centuries, its bark will not naturally flake or split. The color of the bark is also prominent, as it contains hints of light gray, silver and blue instead of the traditional brown shared by many other tree species.
  • Leaves: The leaves of the Beech tree are oval shaped and contain serrated edges that look like sharp little teeth. The color of the leaves is dependent on the season. In the spring and summer the leaves are dark green, but in the fall they change to chocolate brown, gold, yellow and red.
  • Flowers: The Beech tree's flowers are small and yellowish-green in color. The blossoms are unique in that they are either male or female. The former typically features very slight red borders, while the latter are predominantly yellow.
  • Fruit: Following pollination, the tree produces triangular-shaped fruits that hang individually or in groups of two or three. These edible fruits are commonly referred to as "Beechnuts." While Beechnuts are safe for human consumption, if eaten in large quantities, a person may get sick due to the tannins contained inside.

Beech
Beech Nuts and Leaves
Red Beech Leaf
Red Beech Leaf
Acacia
Beech Tree Fruit

Beech Tree Types

Flat-topped Acacia Tree

Red European Beech

Beech trees are prized for their charm and beauty the world over, though they are especially coveted in North America and Europe where temperate conditions make it easy for the following Beech tree types to grow and prosper:

  • American Beech: Known for its incredibly sleek bark and slender branches, the American Beech has a neat and clean appearance. The tree's massive canopy of leaves gives it a full and fluffy appearance. The American Beech grows best in full or partial sunlight and in moist, fertile soil.
  • American Beech: Known for its incredibly sleek bark and slender branches, the American Beech has a neat and clean appearance. The tree's massive canopy of leaves gives it a full and fluffy appearance. The American Beech grows best in full or partial sunlight and in moist, fertile soil.

There are more Beech forests in Europe than North America. A Beech forest is dark and cool. What's more, the species' towering size robs other plants and trees of precious sunlight. Both types of Beech trees prefer partial sunlight in their youth, but thrive in full sunlight as they get older.

The Many Looks of the Beech Tree

Beechnut

Beechnut

Beech Bark

Beech Bark

Beech Leaves

Beech Leaves

Beech Tree in Autumn

Beech Tree in Autumn

Beech Tree in Winter

Beech Tree in Winter

Beech Tree in Spring

Beech Tree in Spring

Example Frame

Where the Beech Grows

Umbrella Acacia

Beech Tree in Williamsburg, Virginia

The majority of the Beech species grows in areas that have moderately fertile soil and humidity that is fairly constant. The American Beech tree prospers in the eastern part of the United States, especially:

  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Rhode Island
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Georgia

These states have deep, rich, moist, well-drained soil that the American Beech prefers.
Meanwhile, the European Beech is not as demanding of its soil. This type can prosper in slightly acidic soil and can tolerate harsh winters, which is why European Beech trees do well in Norway.

 

Popular Uses

Acacia Uses

Beechnuts Provide Fabric Dyes

The Beech is among the most popular trees in the world. In addition to being a top pick for landscaping purposes, the tree offers a litany of other uses, including:

  • Furniture: Beech wood is ideal for cabinet making. It also is used to make chairs, benches, stools, tables, bed frames and other furniture.
  • Bedding: In some parts of the world, delicate Beech leaves are used in mattresses and pillows instead feathers.
  • Charcoal: In parts of Europe the Beech is converted into charcoal and burned for heat.
  • Dye: The leaves and fruit from the Beech tree provide extracts for fabric dyes.

In addition, tar from the Beech, better known as creosote, is often used by landscapers to protect other trees from rotting.

 

Interesting Facts

You won't see a lot of Beech trees in urban environments. The species doesn't like city living, as the carbon monoxide robs it of its natural beauty.

Another interesting fact about the Beech tree is its role in 19th century England. Back then, the oil from the tree was used for cooking and to fuel lamps. The tree's fruit was also ground to make flour, though only after the slightly toxic tannins were leached out.

Beech Diseases

Acacia Disease

Young Healthy Beech Trees

The two most aggressive Beech tree diseases have their origins in fungal infections, including:

  • Beech Scale Disease: Brought on by the Cryptococcus insect, the disease is one of the most destructive to the tree. The pest weakens young Beech trees, making them highly susceptible to the scale disease which appears as small wart-like spots on the bark.
  • Mildew: This common fungal infection targets the Beech tree's leaves and young branches. The white, powdery mildew is easy to spot, especially on the tree's dark green foliage.

Beech Care

Beech trees don't take a lot of care and attention to grow, provided you plant them in soil that is moist and in an area that will allow them to receive a good amount of sunlight.

To further benefit your Beech tree, consider the following tips:

Acacia Care
Mature Beech Tree
  • Maintain decent air circulation in tree's leaves to prevent mildew.
  • Be careful that the Beech tree is not overcrowded by surrounding shrubs that will cover its extensive root system.
  • Regularly prune dead or damaged branches and ones that are growing too close to the tree's base.
  • Avoid using fertilizers that contain high levels of nitrogen.

Finally, there is no need to constantly water your Beech tree if you live in a temperate climate. Water-logged soil is detrimental to Beech trees.