Fagus grandifolia (Fr: hêtre à grandes feuilles | En: American beech)
Beech trees known for their exceptionally smooth grey bark which one often finds disfigured with initials and hearts on trails, as these markings can persist decades.
Young trees are beautiful in autumn and winter, as they often retain their leaves. Beeches also produce an edible and tasty nut, if you can get to them before the birds and squirrels do. In addition, beech trees can support large numbers of native caterpillars and other insects. There is even a beautiful parasitic flower, Beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana), that feeds exclusively from this species.
Beech trees have been hit hard recently by a recently introduced fungus and beetle which have been causing large losses of trees. If you have the space please consider planting a beech to help them out.
Habitat: Deciduous forests, flood plains,
Sun requirements: Full Sun
Moisture requirements: Flood tolerant
Soil requirements: Adaptable