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American Beeches

The American Beech is a very familiar tree in West Virginia, and it can be found in the Laurel Lake area.American Beech trees grow best in moist areas of mountain coves. It is one of the most beautiful of all hardwood trees.

The leaves of the American Beech trees measure between 3 and 4 inches in length and are of a simple, alternate oval pattern. Leaves hang long into winter. The American beech flowers between April and May.

The smooth bark is perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of this tree. The bark of the American Beech is light gray in color.

The beechnut which is produced by this tree, has 3 sides.These form in pairs within a prickly burr. The fruit is consumed by ruffed grouse, red and gray foxes, wild turkey, bobwhite, black bear, deer, pheasant, raccoon, rabbits, and squirrels.

The wood of the American Beech is used extensively forfurniture, but it is said to decay rapidly when left in direct contact with the soil or if it is left in the weather.