Go Native—Grow Native: Beech trees

Submitted by Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society

American beech, Fagus grandifolia

Golden bronze fall color of American beeches in Hickory Hollow Natural Area Preserve in Lancaster. Photo by Betsy Washington

American beeches are one of our most magnificent native trees—beautiful in every season, especially winter. They are also one of the most easily recognized of our eastern deciduous trees, with their silvery gray bark that appears “cast from molten pewter.” The massive trunks appear smooth to the eye but are slightly rough to touch and sometimes likened to elephant hide.

American beeches are slow-growing, but reach heights of 60-80 feet and are known to grow as tall as 120 feet. This tree has massive smooth trunks with fluted bases that….

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