Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Fagus sp.

  beech trunk
Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

The beech is a large deciduous tree with alternate buds and leaves. The fruit is a triangular nut enclosed in a prickly casing. The bark of the trunk is dark gray and smooth. In the fall the leaves of the beech turn golden-brown.

What is it used for?

The beech can function as shade, ornamental, or as a barrier. It can be used as a lawn tree but is not recommended as a street tree.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

The beech tree prefers moist, well-drained soil. It also requires adequate space: beech trees should be planted 50 feet apart; 3 feet for a hedge. The best plants are those that have adequate space. Therefore, the beech is usually not suitable for a small property.

What are its primary problems?

The shallow root system of the beech makes it difficult to maintain grass or other plants beneath it. One of the most common diseases of the beech is beech bark disease, a problem created when fungi colonize bark injured by the wooly beech scale. Cottony aphids can cause disfigurement.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.