American Beech


The American Beech tree once existed throughout the US, however, today they are mostly found in the eastern half of the United States.

 [Elementary students]

Did you know?

How can you identify this tree in the winter?

It holds onto its leaves longer than most other trees.

Who eats the nuts from the tree?

Birds and other animals eat nuts from the Beech tree. People roast Beechnuts and can use them as a substitute for coffee.

When the trees get older, the bark looks like what animal?

The older bark looks like the skin of an elephant.

How long can the tree live?

The Beech tree can live to be 300 to 400 years old.

The wood is used for?

The wood from beech trees is used for flooring, furniture and containers.

[Middle school students]

Leaf: Shiny green in the summer and turns red/orange in the fall

(Go Botany)

Habitat (where it likes to live)

Well drained soils in full sun and also in wet soils
Location: Eastern North America  (Zone 3 to 9)

Requirements (what it needs to live)

Water: Medium to dry soils
Maintenance: Low

Identification (what it looks like)

Light gray bark
Twigs – have long skinny stems and look a little like thorns

[High school students]

Habit (how it grows)

Height: 50 feet to 80 feet
Spread: 40 feet to 80 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Fruit – Nuts that are edible
Does not like – to be planted in the fall or to have compacted roots

Suggested Use (where to plant it):

Shade tree in the yard
Parks – Seth Hand Park


  1. NC State Extension -
  2. Missouri Botanic Garden –
  3. Wikipedia –