Family: Fagaceae, beech family
Genus species: Fagus grandifolia
Leaves are thin with a papery texture, elliptical in shape, long-pointed at tip. Each vein of the leaf ends in a tooth at the leaf's edge.
Bark is light gray, smooth.
Male and female flowers are separate but on same tree (monoecious). Male flowers are small, yellow, arranged in a ball hanging on a slender stalk. Female flowers are small, bordered by hairy reddish scales.
Fruits are light brown prickly burs. Each bur contains four nuts. Nuts are sweet, edible.
Twigs are light gray, slender. Terminal bud is long, thin, pointed with many scales.
Beech trees are clonal, spread asexually through roots.
The genus name Fagus is from the Latin for "beech tree" and the species name grandifolia means "with large leaves."