We have several American beech trees on our property. They are a beautiful tree with lovely form and striking green glossy leaves in the summer that turn a rich orangey brown in fall. The leaves stay on the trees well into the winter, unusual for a deciduous tree. This little one almost looks like a shrub but will eventually grow into a very tall tree.
This tree is about twenty feet tall .
This one is probably about 50' tall. It has lost a lot of its upper leaves but there are more leaves on the lower branches.
Beech trees have smooth grey bark and, with the flaring at the base for the roots, the trunks always remind me of elephant legs and feet.
At this time of year, the new buds have formed ready to open out next spring. The beech nuts , which I haven't seen yet on our trees probably because they are up 20' or so and then the squirrels get them, are three-sided and quite small. Buckwheat, the forage plant that makes white flowers and small black three-sided seeds, is actually named after the beech nut. Originally buckwheat was called beech wheat. Buckwheat isn't a beech and it isn't wheat either so it's a bit of a misnomer.