The leaves of beech trees are alternate with entire or sparsely toothed leaf margins with straight parallel veins and on short stalks. It is a low-branched tree, with its trunk ranging from 2-3’ (less frequently 4’) in diameter. Still, the longevity of American beech bark and its irresistible resemblance to paper cannot be dismissed. the carving of initials) provides the infection site. Beech trees are tall, round-headed, and wide-spreading. This variety will suffer from scorch, brown leaf edges, in hot dry weather. The toothed parallel-veined leaves are shiny green and are borne alternately along the stem. 4. The European beech tree has an unmatched place in history. Mulch newly planted trees to keep the soil moist and reduce the competition from grass. Avoid planting in areas with compacted and waterlogged soils. The beechnuts were food for prehistoric man and are still consumed today. American beech is more difficult to propagate and produce in the nursery than European beech so it is not often sold in commercial nurseries. Beech trees have a distinctive, smooth gray bark that resembles the skin of an elephant. European beech is primarily distinguished from the similar American beech (Fagus grandifolia) by (a) smaller size, (b) darker gray bark, and (c) shorter leaves that have wavy mostly untoothed margins. The foliage of large, broadly elliptic, lustrous leaves, up to 5 in. Fagus sylvatica 'Riversii' (European Beech) is a magnificent, deciduous tree adorned with a dense, broad crown. The smooth, pale gray bark is truly stunning in the winter landscape. Beech. From Virgil to Daniel Boone, men have marked territory and carved the tree's bark with their initials. Beech (Fagus) is a genus of deciduous trees in the family Fagaceae, native to temperate Europe, Asia, and North America.Recent classifications recognize 10 to 13 species in two distinct subgenera, Engleriana and Fagus.The Engleriana subgenus is found only in East Asia, distinctive for their low branches, often made up of several major trunks with yellowish bark. The wood has been employed for centuries for both fire and furniture in Europe. All beeches need moist, well-drained soils. European beech (Fagus sylvatica) Eric Carle/Shostal Associates. Ed Reschke / Getty Images. The bark is used as a tea for lung problems, including tuberculosis. Once the tree is infected, Phytophthora survives as resting spores in the margins of the bark cankers. Historians claim that the first written European literature was inscribed on Beech bark … Beech bark tea make a good wash for poison ivy. Beech tree bark has suffered the carver's knife through the ages. For European beech, soil compaction can result in the development of puddles around the base of the tree and bark wounding from vandalism (e.g. Tricolor is a variety of the European beech. The thin bark is smooth and steel-gray in colour. It is also cleansing to the blood, through pregnant women should avoid it. The national champion American beech (115 feet) is in Maryland. long (12 cm), emerges deep purple in spring, fades to purple green in summer, before turning copper in the fall.