(Fagus grandifolia)
The Beech Family (Fagaceae)

The slightly zigzagged twigs have long, pointed, scaly, brown leaf buds said to resemble a hand rolled cigar. The deciduous dark-green leaves are alternately arranged, turn copper-colored in the fall and remain on the branches for most of the winter. The trunk has smooth light gray bark.


Forests, moist or wet lowland sites, mostly in loamy or clay soils.

Interesting Facts: 

The nuts were used to make flour, coffee and vegetable oil by Native Americans and European settlers. The extinct Passenger Pigeon fed on its nuts and roosted in its branches.

The fruit is a short stalked, pointed bur-like husk containing 1-3 nuts from September to November.
The male and female flowers, located on the same tree, are green and often found in clusters as the tree leafs out in spring.
Wildlife value: 
The fruit is eaten by many birds and mammals such as squirrels, raccoon, fox, opossum and white-tailed deer. The American Beech supports over 100 species of butterflies and moths.
Fall color
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 3.00-6.00 inches
Tree height: 65.00-100.00 feet

Where to find American Beech on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

WAB - Walker Branch Trail 6.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.