I Love Fagus grandifolia aka American beech

Nov 11, 2022 | Gardens

Name: Fagus grandifolia aka American beech

Type of Plant:  A large tree that’s native to Eastern North America, with shiny dark green leaves in summer and beautiful yellow/orange/rust fall color.

Why I Love This Plant:  At this time of year this tree catches my eye because it is coloring when many other trees have already dropped their leaves. I love how this tree populates our woodlands on Cape Cod, often suckering from shallow roots and forming thickets or groups of plants. And I appreciate how the tree’s nuts sustain a number of animals and how the plant is host to a number of moths and butterfly caterpillars. 

A Word to the Wise:  There is a new disease that’s effecting this plant and it’s been spotted on Cape Cod. Called beech leaf disease, it causes striping on the foliage. It’s too early to know how much of a threat that this is to our beeches in the woodland, but it’s worth being aware of and taking precautions so that it doesn’t spread. Learn more about beech leaf disease by clicking here.

This is a good time of year to be aware of the American beech trees in our woodlands on Cape Cod. While most other trees (except the oaks) have dropped their foliage, the beech trees now stand out as they turn yellow to rust.

I love how the beach leaves turn color in the fall. They often make feathery patterns of green and yellow before the leaves turn to rust.

Fagus grandifolia is an important native tree for our woodlands.

I spotted this tree with beech leaf disease in the conservation area near Long Pond in Marston’s Mills.


  1. Melissa Kitchens

    I love that the tree holds on to its goldy amber leaves until later winter. I’ve just about decided to plant one of these in my garden, but having trouble finding one!

    • CL Fornari

      If you google “native trees American beech by mail” you’ll find several sources.


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