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American Beech

Latin: Fagus grandifolia

Family: Fagaceae

Description - form tall slender or broad and rounded crown depending on site location. Are slow growing and shade tolerant. Often have saplings from root suckers.

 

Leaf - alternate, simple, coarsely toothed, elliptical shape, straight parallel veins.

 

Bark -  smooth and light grey, like elephant legs.

 

Bud - brown, polished, finely hairy at the apex, diverging from twig.

 

Twig - slender, slightly zigzagged.

 

Flower - male and female flowers occur on the same tree. Male flower is yellowish with globe shaped heads, paired, short stemmed female flowers near branch tips.

 

Fruit - 3 sided edible, shiny nut, usually 2 in a 4 parted brown prickly husk.

 

Habitat - well drained, upland loamy soils.

 

Wildlife Value - the fruit is eaten by squirrels, turkeys, rodents, and deer.

 

Wood - used for boxes, pallets, railway ties, furniture, flooring, veneer, musical instruments.

 

Problems - fruit production is undependable and trees may not bare for several years. Are susceptible to a disease which was imported to Canada in the 1890s.

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48075 Jamestown Line R.R. #2, Aylmer ON N5H 2R2