What Is a Beech Tree?

Overview

Beech trees are often called the American beech tree because they are found in most of North America. These are relatively large trees that are popular in areas that have winter, since they produce fruit and flowers during the winter. These trees are hardy, survive well in a large variety of soils and are mostly resistant to diseases and pests.

Identification

Beech trees are common trees. They can reach 50 feet tall and up, and spreads out 40 to 60 feet. According to Duke University, the bark of the beech tree is smooth and pale grey. The leaves of the beech tree are thin and have sharply-toothed edges. Duke University reports that the beech tree is usually easy to identify because the dead leaves usually remain on the beech tree through a part of the winter. The leaves turn pale and tan. The nuts produced by the beech tree are spiny and covered with wood husks. The trees are also identified by the white, fuzzy colonies that are made up of aphids. The buds of the leaves are long and pointed.

Geography

The beech tree is native to North America. It is found throughout most of America, with only parts of southern Florida, southern Texas and western California being unsuitable for the beech tree. The tree thrives well in both the shade and in full sun. The tree prefers acidic soil, but can survive in both sandy and clay soil. The tree prefers well-drained soil. While needing well drained soil, the beech tree has a shallow root system, causing the tree to need enough moisture to survive.

Function

The beech tree is used both as a hedge tree and as a shade tree. The fruit that is produced by the beech tree attracts squirrels, birds and a couple of mammals. The tree is popular in regions that have cold winter weather because it develops flowers and produces fruit during the winter, and has a trunk that is appealing in the winter, according to the University of Florida.

Warning

The roots of the beech tree have the ability to lift up sidewalks and can make lawn mowing difficult. According to the University of Florida, the beech tree mostly does not have a problem with pests or diseases. Pests that attack the beech tree are the aphid colonies, borers and certain caterpillars. Leaf spots, powdery mildew and cankers can infect the beech tree.

Prevention/Solution

According to the University of Florida, pruning can eliminate leaves and branches that are infected by pests and diseases. Eliminate cankers by reducing the amount of nitrogen fed to the beech tree. The beech tree is also susceptible to scorching during high temperatures, which can be prevented with adequate watering.

Keywords: beech tree, hedge tree, shade tree, american beech tree

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.