Keystone Value: The genus Fagus (Beech) supports over 120 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars, providing food for a variety of birds and mammals.
American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) is a large tree that often reaches 50-80′ in height and width and provides landscape interest throughout the year. The silvery-white bark provides interest in the winter, and spring blooms emerge as feathery tassels. In the summer it is an impressive shade tree, and the autumn foliage is a striking golden bronze. American Beech prefers moist, well-drained soil and can tolerate full-sun to part-shade. If given enough space, American Beech performs beautifully as a specimen tree, or it can be allowed to sucker and form a hedge or grove. Its wildlife value cannot be overstated. Beechnuts ripen in the fall and provide food for a wide range of mammals and birds. As a keystone species American Beech supports over 120 species of butterfly and moth caterpillars, including the Banded Tussock Moth pictured above.