Image: Mike Habeck
American Beech occurs throughout much of the eastern United States, where it is a common forest tree. Individuals can grow up to eighty feet tall, and mature trees can have very substantial trunks. Beech trees bear edible nuts, though sporadically, and are an important food source for many animals. They also have smooth bark (above) that many vandals find irresistible. Beech trees frequently hold their leaves well into the winter - a characteristic that, along with their bark, makes them stand out during the colder months.