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Beech is a sturdy and imposing tree with a short trunk and wide-spreading crown. It has a lifespan of 150 to 400 years, depending on the species. Beech can reach from 50 to 164 feet in height, depending on the species. The bark is generally smooth and light grey in color. The nuts are edible, though bitter with a high tannin content, and are called beechnuts or beech mast. Insects and diseases are not serious threats to the tree; however, beech is susceptible to damage from strong winds, especially when growing in urban landscapes. 


The Beech most commonly grown as an ornamental tree is the European beech, widely cultivated in North America as well as its native Europe. Beech bark is extremely thin and scars easily. Since the beech tree has such delicate bark, carvings, such as lovers’ initials and other forms of graffiti, remain because the tree is unable to heal itself.

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