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American Beech Video Stock Footage
It is a deciduous tree growing to 20–35 m (66–115 ft) tall, with smooth, silver-gray bark. The leaves are dark green, simple and sparsely-toothed with small teeth that terminate each vein, 6–12 cm (2 1–4 3 in) long (rarely 15 cm, 6 in), with a short petiole. The winter twigs are distinctive among North American trees, being long and slender (15–20 mm (5–3 in) by 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in)) with two rows of overlapping scales on the buds. Beech buds are distinctly thin and long, resembling cigars this characteristic makes beech trees relatively easy to identify. The tree is monoecious, with flowers of both sexes on the same tree. The fruit is a small, sharply-angled nut, borne in pairs in a soft-spined, four-lobed husk. It has two means of reproduction: one is through the usual dispersal of seedlings, and the other is through root sprouts (new trees sprout from the roots in different locations). The American beech is a shade-tolerant species, commonly found in forests in the final stage of succession. Few trees in its natural range other than sugar maple match it for shade tolerance. Ecological succession is essentially the process of forests changing their composition through time it is a pattern of events often observed on disturbed sites. Although sometimes found in pure stands, it is more often associated with sugar maple (forming the beech–maple climax community), yellow birch,...
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