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Thursday - August 06, 2015

From: Roseburg, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: American Beech with Brown Leaves
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a North American beech tree in Oregon. Its leaves started out with big brown spots on the leaves and is pretty much turning all the leaves on the tree brown. What could be causing this and what can be done to minimize damage. Our summer has turned out with many days in the hundreds and very dry. Could this be a problem for the tree? Should I be watering it? Thanks for any help you can give me.

ANSWER:

The American beech (Fagus grandifolia) is a sturdy, imposing tree, 50-80 ft. tall, with a maximum height of 120 ft. Its bark is very smooth and light gray, remaining so as the tree ages. Large tree with rounded crown of many long, spreading and horizontal branches, producing edible beechnuts. Branches spread horizontally to form a rounded top and dense growth. Dark-green, glossy, prominently veined leaves turn copper-colored in the fall and hold on most of the winter. Beechnuts are among the most important of wildlife food.

American Beech was recognized by the colonists, who already knew the famous, closely related European Beech. American Beech is a handsome shade tree and bears similar edible beechnuts, which are consumed in quantities by wildlife, especially squirrels, raccoons, bears, other mammals, and game birds. Unlike most trees, beeches retain smooth bark in age. The trunks are favorites for carving and preserve initials and dates indefinitely.

Beech have shallow root systems so they are susceptible root zone disturbance and drought. During drought extra water should be given.

The USDA has the following information on their American Beech webpage about diseases: Usually none are serious provided soil is not compacted and is well-drained. Several fungi cause leaf spots but are generally not serious to warrant chemical control.  During periods of high temperatures and low rainfall Beech may scorch. Make sure trees are adequately watered and mulched.

 

From the Image Gallery


American beech
Fagus grandifolia

American beech
Fagus grandifolia

American beech
Fagus grandifolia

American beech
Fagus grandifolia

American beech
Fagus grandifolia

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