Beech, American

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SIU 150th logo

This tree is one of the 150 trees initially included in the arboretum to coincide with the campus's 150th anniversary celebration.

Scientific Name:
Fagus grandifolia


Native to:
New Brunswick to Ontario, south to Florida and Texas

Mature Height and Width:
50-70 feet by 50-70 feet, can reach more than 100 feet high

Additional Notes:
With its distinct “elephant skin” bark and dead leaves that persist in the winter, American beech is one of the most recognizable trees native to our region.  Although decline in the amount of beech forests due to agricultural clearing may have contributed to the decline of the famously extinct Passenger Pigeon, the species is highly adaptable to modern life.  It is becoming increasingly common, given the unpalatability of new growth to deer, the exclusion of fire in most forests, and its ability to persist in the heavy shade of shorter lived species within protected and partially cut forests.