The beeches are tall, usually wide spreading trees with alternate leaves. The most common species are the American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) and the European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) which should not be confused since their leaves are quite distinct. The leaves of the European Beech are not so sharply toothed as those of the American Beech and it does not sprout profusely from the base of the trunk, as PGC-T-Fagus-sylvatica-2010-04does the American Beech.

As a rule the American Beech is a tree of upright habit, considerably taller than it is wide while the European Beech and many of its varieties are almost as wide-spreading as they are tall. They both have gray bark, that of the American Beech being considerably lighter. Both can be sheared and used in hedges tall or small.

Fagus grandifolia American Beech
F. sylvatica European Beech


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