American beech is a "strikingly handsome" tree with tight, smooth and skin-like light gray bark. This slick bark is so unique, it becomes a major identifier of the species. Combine its beautiful bark with the beech tree's golden-bronze fall color leaves and you have a winning combination.
Beech leaves linger on their limbs through winter and retain a yellow tan color. That tan color and the gray bark becomes immediately recognizable in autumn. Beech bark has suffered the carver's knife through the ages. From Virgil to Daniel Boone, men have marked territory and carved the tree's bark with their initials.