Notice the trees at the Arboretum that still have leaves in January? These are Beech trees. Younger trees and the lower branches of mature trees keep their leaves until Spring. There are theories but no sure reasons why!
These trees can live to be 300 to 400 years old. They have thin, light gray bark and flowers in early spring, just as the new leaves appear. The Beech tree’s flowers are small and yellowish-green in color. The blossoms are unique in that they are either male or female. The former typically features very slight red borders, while the latter are predominantly yellow.
Pollinated flowers form an edible nut (“beech nut”) which is eaten by many mammals (including squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and bears) and birds. These nuts are produced in great abundance every two or three years.
Beautiful aren’t they?