American Beech

All About the American Beech:

Scientific Nomenclature: Fagus grandifolia

Common Names: American beech, North American beech

Mature Height: 50–70 feet

Mature Spread: 100–120 feet

Growth Rate: Slow

Attracts Wildlife: Birds and mammals

Messiness: Flowers bloom in spring, male flowers drop in summer and female flowers mature to nuts in autumn. Prickly, brownish, triangular beechnuts drop in autumn alongside leaves.

Shape: Round

Native to Kentucky: Yes

Preferred Soils: Prefers moist, well-drained acidic (<6.0pH) soils. It has no preference over clay, loam, or sandy soils. Is completely intolerant of wet or compacted soils.

Screening: Not sought after as a screening tree.

Drought Tolerance: Is not very tolerant of drought or heat.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous

Pruning: Careful consideration should be taken to prune this tree often, as it develops suckers from a vast system of surface roots. An entire beech grove can often originate from a single tree, so consideration should also be taken when planting this tree in smaller landscapes.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over the next 20 years one American beech will:

  • Sequester ~506 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 331 gallons.