Deciduous trees with smooth gray bark, even on large trunks. Twigs slender, terete, zigzag; pith small, round, continuous. Buds usually solitary, sessile or short-stalked, elongate-fusiform, divergent, oblique over the leaf-scar, with 10 or more spirally arranged scales. Leaf-scars small, alternate, half-round; bundle-traces 3 or multiplied; stipule-scars linear, nearly meeting around the twig. Fruit a nut, usually 2 together in an urn-shaped prickly involucre which splits into 4 valves.
Fig. 61. Fagus grandifolia.
1. F. grandifolia Ehrh. Beech. A tree 15-36 m. high, with a trunk diameter of 6-9 dm. ; bark smooth, close, light gray, often with included woody nodules; twigs glabrous; buds red-brown. Rich woods, Prince Edward Island to Ontario and Illinois, south to Florida and Texas (Fig. 61).