|Copper Beech – Fagus sylvatica 'Atropunicea'|
Family: Fagaceae – Beech, Chinkapin, Oak
The beech genus comprises 10 species of trees
native to temperate Europe, Asia, and North America.
|In the Northern and Central States, beech flowers appear in late April or early May when the leaves are about one-third grown; the species is monoecious. The flowers are quite vulnerable to spring frosts. Male flowers occur in long-stemmed heads; female flowers in clusters of two to four. Beech is very shade-tolerant when grown on well-drained, fertile soil. Beech and sugar maple are climax species in northern hardwood forests of northeastern North America, the great lake states and the Appalachian Mountains .|
Beechnuts require one growing season to mature and they ripen between September and November. The fruit is a small, 3-angled nut borne in soft-spined husks often known as beechmast. Two or (rarely) three nuts may be found within a single bur. The first nuts to fall are usually wormy or aborted. Seed fall begins after the first heavy frosts have caused the burs to open and is completed within a few weeks.