American Beech

Fagus grandifolia

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Fagus (FAG-us) (Info)
Species: grandifolia (gran-dih-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Fagus americana



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama

Deatsville, Alabama

New Market, Alabama

Spanish Fort, Alabama

Wetumpka, Alabama

Washington, District Of Columbia

Savannah, Georgia

Suwanee, Georgia

Crawfordsville, Indiana

Michigan City, Indiana

Benton, Kentucky

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Nicholasville, Kentucky

Loranger, Louisiana

Vienna, Maine

Annapolis, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

Valley Lee, Maryland

Lawrence, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Florence, Mississippi

Golden, Mississippi

Trenton, New Jersey

Cohocton, New York

Syracuse, New York

Statesville, North Carolina

Walnut Cove, North Carolina

Xenia, Ohio

Toronto, Ontario

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania

Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania

Charleston, South Carolina

Salem, South Carolina

Dickson, Tennessee

Orem, Utah

Eagle Rock, Virginia

Falling Waters, West Virginia

Colgate, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 25, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

One of our most beautiful native trees, I love to encounter a mature stand in the forest. This species is much more inclined to root-sucker than the european beech, and so less suited to a designed landscape.


On Dec 19, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

Lovely shade tree that is one of the dominant forest trees in climax woods of southeast PA. I've seen a good number in northwest Indiana and east central Indiana too. Sometimes found in residential yards. I've seen it doing well in barely acid soils, as those of the limestone derived soils around Downingtown, PA. It has lighter gray bark than the European Beech and larger leaves, and much fewer cultivars. It is not as adaptable as the European species to refined landscapes with lawn and more alkaline pH reaction. I remember an American and an European planted next to each other in lawn in Urbana, Illinois on the campus of the University of ILL; both were doing well. I think the American is more beautiful and should be preferred in naturalistic American landscapes. I discourage many Eurasia... read more


On Nov 24, 2010, lahomesteader from Loranger, LA wrote:

Beautiful tree. Range extends to Robert, Louisiana, where there is stil a local remnant of the Beech/Magnolia climax community remaining.


On Aug 1, 2009, Andyrew from Sanbornville, NH wrote:

The photo of the leaf I posted is from a tree that was found growing on a friend's property. About half the tree is variegated. Recently I found a similarly variegated beech in the woods near my home. It's a younger tree and all it's leaves are variegated.


On Aug 25, 2007, famartin from Trenton, NJ wrote:

One of this species self-seeded next to a fence near the property line. Hoping that it will replace two ugly Silver Maples which were removed a year ago. Grows well, but seems to need watching to ensure it maintains a single leader in the sun.


On May 29, 2007, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Young Beeches are easy to spot in the winter because they tend not to lose all their leaves. They are very shade tolerant and very slow growing but can live for hundreds of years. A twenty inch in diameter tree could be 250 years old.


On Aug 31, 2006, Bexter from Woods Hole, MA wrote:

The initials we carved in our childhood are gone now, 20 years later. They got healed over and smoothed over and blurred, and are now gone.


On May 8, 2006, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

One of the most beautiful trees in the forest, the striking light, slick bark stands out among other trees.

These trees can grow to be very large and are long-lived.

It produces edible fruits in the fall known as beech nuts. Deer and other wildlife love them.

The trunks are favorites of sweethearts for carving initials into them, as the carving is easy to do on the smooth surface and they are preserved indefinitely.


On Jan 31, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical to oblong-ovate, 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches long, pinnately-veined, 11-14 pairs of veins, with each vein ending in a sharp distinct tooth, shiny green above, very waxy and smooth, slightly paler below.

Flower: Monoecious; male flowers borne on globose heads hanging from a slender 1 inch stalk, female flowers borne on shorter spikes, appearing just after leaves in the spring.

Fruit: Nuts are irregularly triangular, shiny brown and edible, found in pairs within a woody husk covered with spines, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, maturing in the fall.

Twig: Very slender, zigzag, light brown in color; buds are long (3/4 inch), light brown, and slender, covered with overlapping scales (best described as "cigar-shaped"), widely di... read more