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Fagus Grandifolia – American Beech

The American Beech, a deciduous hardwood native to North America, can live up to three to four hundred years.  Growing to heights of 50 to 75 ft. with a spread between 40 to 60 ft., the American Beech is an ideal tree to create shade coverage.  Often cultivated to make flooring, furniture, railroad ties, musical instruments, and even barrels for aging beer, the American Beech is moderately drought tolerant. 

Preferring full sun, the Beech has been known to be shade tolerant, and can grow in partial sun and shade conditions.  Producing oily nuts that are consumed by a variety of wildlife including birds, squirrels, mice, black bear, and deer, the Beech prefers well acidic, drained soil conditions ranging from sand and loam.  Although the Beech is not ideal for streets or parking lots as a result of its need for quality soil and low branching it is ideal for other softscape designs. 

Known for its light gray bark and subtle fall colors, the American Beech is susceptible to aphids, the flat headed apple tree borer and two-lined chestnut borer, and more than 70 decay fungi including Daedalea unicolor, Ganoderma applanatum, Fomes fomentarius, Phellinus igniarius, Hericium erinaceus, and Steccherinum septentrionale

Works Cited:

University of Florida IFAS


US Forest Service