Audubon® American Beech
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A more beautiful bird feeder there never was! American Beech is a magnificent native forest tree cherished by humans for its smooth, slate-gray bark, its lofty canopy, and its golden and toffee-colored fall foliage, but this tree is also adored by birds. In fall, you may spot Blue Jays, titmice, nuthatches, and grosbeaks foraging among the branches for the energy-rich Beech nuts. Even more valuable to birds, however, are the many caterpillars that American Beech supports. Nearly 130 species of moth and butterfly caterpillars feed on its foliage, and these protein-packed morsels serve as vital nourishment for songbirds and their chicks.
May Benefit & Attract: Blue Jays, titmice, nuthatches, and grosbeaks
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (18-24" tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
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American Beech is possibly our country’s most elegant forest tree. In winter, its bleached, tissue-paper leaves flutter against slate-gray trunks, in spring, jade-green leaves emerge, in fall, the foliage turns shades of warm yellow and topaz. Native across a broad expanse of the Eastern U.S. and Canada, American Beech is a climax species, eventually dominating a forest if conditions are right. It can grow to over 100 feet tall in the wild. Its nuts feed deer, bears, porcupines, squirrels, turkeys, blue jays, and at one time, passenger pigeons—now extinct.
Acadian flycatchers and red-shouldered hawks are some of the many birds that like to nest in American Beech’s canopy. On very old trees, hollows may open up in the trunk, which provide cozy nesting spots for cavity-dwelling birds like titmice, nuthatches, flickers, and woodpeckers.
How to Grow
American Beech is particular in its needs. It prefers the woodsy soils that it calls home, so if you live in an older neighborhood and native Beeches grow nearby, this tree may be a good fit. Newer subdivisions where the topsoil has been scraped off spell trouble. American Beech likes a steady supply of moisture, but no standing water, and it won’t tolerate soil being piled on top of its roots, as happens sometimes during construction projects. It is shallow-rooted and needs to “breathe,” just like you and me.
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