Of all our deciduous trees, the American beech has the most easily recognizable bark: it is pale gray and smooth. The dried leaves sometimes remain on the branches of young trees all winter. Since bears like to eat beech seeds, called beechnuts, claw marks can sometimes be seen on a trunk where a bear has climbed to the top of the tree.
Beeches grow in rich, well-drained soil on bottomlands and slopes. This tree sometimes forms pure stands, but is generally associated with sugar maple, yellow birch and hemlock.
The colour of its wood goes from white to reddish brown. Numerous rays give it a mottled appearance. It is heavy, hard and very strong.
It is used to manufacture flooring and furniture, as well as handles for tools and kitchen utensils.
Leaves, alternate, simple and toothed.
Fruits, nuts usually in pairs within a husk.