''Fagus grandifolia''

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Fagus grandifolia

Tree in Beaver Pond, taken on April 1, 2013

Common Name: American Beech


Kingdom- Plantae

Phylum- Angiospermae

Class- Magnoliopsida

Order- Fagales

Family- Fagaceae

Genus- Fagus

Species- F. grandifolia

Plant Description

Deciduous tree with a height ranging from 70-110 feet. It is monoecious, the flower of male and female sexes are both found in the same tree. Blooms from April to May.

Leaf Description

Taken on April 8, 2013

Simple, green, ovate and serrated leaves. Leaves are approximately 6 cm in length with a short petiole. They are arranged in an alternate fashion. When they first grow out, they may be yellowish brown and slightly hairy. During Fall, the leaves become golden brown.

Flower Description

Male flower of Beech Tree, taken on April 8, 2013

Male flowers are small, yellow clusters that resemble a ball. Female flowers are smaller, bordered by red scales and found on the ends of twigs that are growing. Flowers are cross pollinated by wind. The flowers that are pollinated form nuts.

Seed/Fruit Description

Nuts are produced in large amounts every two to three years. They are small and found in pairs inside soft spiked husk with four lobes.

Bark Description

Trunk of tree in Beaver Pond

The bark is smooth and dark grey, sometimes with dark wrinkly areas at the bottom of the tree.

Distinguishing Characters

The smooth grey bark and serrated simple leaves.

Other information

Is tolerant of shade. It takes place from sea level to 2000 meters above sea level. Beech Bark Disease is prominent in Northeastern U.S. It takes place when Beech scale insect, Cryptococcus fagisugadamages the bark, making a wound that allows a fungi from the genus Nectriato infect it and eventually results in death of the tree.

Cultural/Edible/Medicinal Information About This Plant Species:

The nuts from Beech tress are consumed by a variety of animals. It includes foxes, white tailed deer, rabbits, squirrels, opossums, black bears and humans. Humans use it for forestry purposes. The wood is used flooring and furniture among other things.

Habitat, Range and Historic Range

Range Map for American Beech

Habitat includes rich and moist woodlands, shady riverbanks and swamps with well drained areas. American Beech is native to Northeast and Southeast US. Pollen records indicate that their numbers were higher than they are now approximately 200 years ago. Habitats that contain moist acidic soils and have low saturation, Beech are the dominant trees in areas in late stages of succession. They promote conditions in the soil and forest floor that will favor their renewal at the cost of competing trees such as Acer saccharum and Hemlock species.

Range map retrieved from USDA Plant Profile http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=fagr

Collection Location on GGC's Campus

Entrance of woods behind building C and woods in beaver pond.

Miscellaneous Photos

Leaves, bud and flower, taken on 04/08/2013
Canopy, taken on 03/29/2012
Taken on 04/16/2013
Fall leaves, taken on 02/22/2013
Taken on 04/16/2013

Created by Elizabeth Avellaneda

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