The American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) is a tree that brings stories to mind. How many lovers’ hearts have been carved in the smooth bark of a Beech, then over the years spreading to a barely recognizable size and shape.
Long ago we had a fine, round beechwood kitchen table. Stamped on the underside was “Made in Yugoslavia.” I remember dreaming about where the timber tree had grown and whose hands had fashioned it into table.
One of my most delightful memories is of a grove of a dozen very large Beech growing in a ravine near our garden in Western Michigan. As I walked down into the ravine I could nearly step out onto the large horizontal limbs. One day, lying down on a broad branch, I actually fell asleep under the tree’s immense green umbrella of leaves.
I love seeing Beech all year round. Here are a few photographs of these remarkable trees.