Fagus grandifolia – American Beech Tree


Botanical Name: Fagus grandifolia

The American Beech tree is one of the major trees that makes up the deciduous hardwood forests in eastern North America, along with maples and oaks, among others.

The American Beech or Fagus grandifolia is an upright tree that grows to a height of 50-80 feet and a width of 40-80 feet. Its growth habit is open and spreading with a rounded or oval canopy.

It has distinctive, smooth, gray bark. Its flowers are a yellowish-green color and appear in mid to late spring. The male flowers are clustered together and pendulous. The female flowers are more upright and are displayed in spikes. The beech nut follows the female flowers in fall. They are a triangular shape and covered in a spiny protective covering. The nuts are produced every 2 to 3 years. These are edible to wildlife and attract animals and birds to the tree.

Grandifolia means ‘large leaves.’ The American Beech leaves are up to 5 inches long, with shiny, dark green, oval or elliptical leaves. They have distinctive parallel venation and coarsely toothed margins. The leaves turn golden and bronze colors late in the season, providing a wonderful fall display.

The American Beech tree dislikes being transplanted, so after planting out as a young tree, it is best to leave it growing in the same location. This tree holds its leaves until late into the fall and winter, making it a useful tree to plant as a hedge. It also has a low branching structure that contributes to its hedging qualities.

Product Dimensions

The purchased tree will be within the ranges below. If you require a specific size, please call us at (503)585-8337
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Caliper Range p
1 3/4"-3"
Height Range p


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Height: 50-80 ft.
Width: 40-80 ft.
Shape: Oval/Rounded
Flower Color: Yellowish-Green
Flowering Time: April-May
Fall Color: Golden Bronze
Features: Dense shade, attractive fall color, holds onto leaves late into the fall/winter
Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade
Watering: Moderate & Regular
Soil: Prefers deep, rich, moist and well-drained soils. Intolerant of wet, heavy soils.
Growth Rate: Moderate
USDA Zones: 3-9
Uses: Lawn tree, shade tree, park tree, hedging tree, larger woodland landscapes, wildlife landscapes
Similar Trees: European Beech (Fagus sylvatica), Dawyck Purple Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck Purple’), River’s Purple Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘River’s Purple’), Purple Fountain Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purple Fountain’), Red Obelisk Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Red Obelisk’), Tricolor European Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Roseomarginata’)

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