Native to the eastern United States, the beech is a large tree reaching a mature height of 70’ and spread of 40’. The oval shaped leaf on the beech is unique as it has a thick leathery feel with pinnate venation ( a visible pattern on a leaf where there is a dominant center vein, or “mid-rib” with other veins branching off from the middle.) The leaves do not produce much fall color but do persist for a long time through winter. The fruit of the tree is a structure that opens and reveals two delicious triangular nuts. The nuts are a favorite food for wildlife, and it is rare to beat the squirrels to the nuts. The buds on the beech are long and cigar-like, an obvious identifying feature through winter. The bark is very distinctive in that it is always smooth. Because of the smoothness people tend to carve messages in it, this is not a good idea and will damage the tree.