Earth–Kind® Plant Selector Home
Start a Search

Common Name:

American Beech

Scientific Name:

Fagus grandifolia

Family Name:



American Beech is a very slow growing medium to large deciduous upright rounded crown tree of the eastern North American climax forest. Handsome dark glossy leaves turn tan to brown in fall and are retained on juvenile portions of the crown. Smooth light gray bark is a signature feature. Old trees provide habitat as well as beechnuts for fildlife.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree


sun, partial sun, shade

Flower Color:

Light green, inconspicuous, staminate flowers in short pendent clusters

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Beechnuts enclosed in a spiny husk


60 ft to 70 ft (120 ft)


50 ft to 70 ft (100 ft)

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

The thin bark is easily damaged. Intolerant of soil compaction or root disturbance. Trees tend to sucker from the roots. Due to slow growth, it is for enjoyment by our grandchildren when planted.
Click for Larger View Click for Larger View Click for Larger View Click for Larger View

A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.