Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech

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11 years 1 month ago - 11 years 1 month ago #134887 by greenluck
Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech was created by greenluck
It grows to 66–115 ft tall, with smooth, silver-gray bark. The American Beech is a shade-tolerant species, favoring shade more than other trees, commonly found in forests in the final stage of succession.

The wood is heavy, hard, tough and strong. Often left by early loggers and many old growth examples exist today in younger forests.

The thin silver gray bark is an attraction for vandals who carve names, dates, and other material into it.

Great for firewood and splits real nice with fairly high BTUs.

This tree is a real pleasure to climb in most cases with plenty of large ones to pick from in Ohio. Make sure you use something to protect the thin bark from your rope.
Last edit: 11 years 1 month ago by greenluck.

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11 years 1 month ago - 11 years 1 month ago #134889 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech
American Beech are tricky, they tend to rot at the limb/trunk union, or at codominant unions and prone to heart rot low in the trunk. The limbs in the upper crown often form tight V crotches and grab your gear (throw bags, cambium savers etc.). Despite those characteristics, I love climbing them :-)





-moss
Last edit: 11 years 1 month ago by moss.

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11 years 1 month ago #134890 by greenluck
Replied by greenluck on topic Re:Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech
The bark on that tree looks down right slippery.

I'll be watching for the problems that Moss mentioned. Now that I think about it, I've seen a few Beach trees with low heart rot while cutting firewood in the past.

I don't think much of rot on firewood trees because we always harvest standing dead trees or badly storm damaged trees, never healthy living trees. I'll start paying closer attention.

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11 years 4 weeks ago #134896 by michaeljspraggon
Replied by michaeljspraggon on topic Re:Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech
I love climbing Beech. Fagus sylvatica were used for the chairmaking industry around here (The Chiltern Hills, England) and grow everywhere. The bark is smooth but grippy, the branches on trees near the edge of glades are the perfect size and spacing for handholds and there are plenty of natural seats to sit and enjoy the view in peace.

Beware of any branch that doesn't look quite right - Beech rots and can become very brittle!

Michael

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11 years 4 weeks ago #134897 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech
michaeljspraggon wrote:

I love climbing Beech. Fagus sylvatica were used for the chairmaking industry around here (The Chiltern Hills, England) and grow everywhere. The bark is smooth but grippy, the branches on trees near the edge of glades are the perfect size and spacing for handholds and there are plenty of natural seats to sit and enjoy the view in peace.


The only tree species more friendly to climb than Fagus grandifolia is Fagus sylvatica. Sylvatica tends to have more horizontal limbs, and as Michael says, great seats for enjoying some tree time. We're lucky to have some big ones on old estates and in yards in my area, they were popular in Victorian times/late 19th century, many seedlings were imported from England to the New England area.
-moss

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11 years 4 weeks ago #134898 by michaeljspraggon
Replied by michaeljspraggon on topic Re:Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech
I didn't know they imported Sylvatica to New England - so the migration of tree species went both ways across the pond!

Michael

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11 years 4 weeks ago #134899 by michaeljspraggon
Replied by michaeljspraggon on topic Re:Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech
By the way: anybody know what that species of lichen is in the photos?

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11 years 4 weeks ago #134900 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech
michaeljspraggon wrote:

By the way: anybody know what that species of lichen is in the photos?


Majority of the lichen on the grandifolia is Flavoparmelia caperata, "Common greenshield lichen". Some others there but that's the one fairly easy to ID. A lichen scientist I talked to laughed and called it a weed. Nevertheless we don't have great diversity of arboreal lichen species in my area, these are particularly rich lichen colonies on this tree. It's in a coastal micro habitat, beech a half mile inland from this tree have a fraction of the lichen on them.
-Andrew (moss)

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11 years 4 weeks ago - 11 years 4 weeks ago #134901 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Fagus Grandifolia - American Beech
Just looking through some lichen references, turns out Flavoparmelia caperata is also found in the Coast Range, California.

"The Tarahumar people in Mexico have dried and and crushed F. caperata and used the powder to treat burns" (from 'Lichens of North America', Brodo, Sharnoff and Sharnoff).
-Andrew
Last edit: 11 years 4 weeks ago by moss.

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