The "Rest of the Story", August 2018
The green beeches I refer to are magnificent trees that grow in parts of east Texas along with the more familiar pines, magnolias, and oaks. American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) is generally thought of as a more northern and eastern tree and cooler climates. That being said it can also be found in the other southern states, including parts of Florida, with its northern range extending through the northeastern U.S. and into southern Ontario, Canada.
it is a large, striking tree, with leaves that are somewhat bluish green on top, and green beneath. It is deciduous, and in some years can have outstanding fall color even in Texas. Its bark is smooth and light gray, and unlike many trees, the bark retains its smooth appearance even as the tree ages. It produces an edible seed that is prized by people and wildlife, including many birds and foxes!
Good places to look for them are in the aptly name Beech Woods unit of the Big Thicket National Preserve, and Angelina and Sabine National forests east and north of Houston.
Stay tuned for more Texas outdoor trivia. In the meantime, stay cool when you can and do not forget the water and ice!