Known as "Mother of the Forest" for its nutrient-rich humus. Beech has a long, illustrious past. The Aryan Tribes of Asia, the earliest known people to use a written language, carved their messages into the soft, smooth pliable bark of the beech tree trunk. The writings, cut out of the bark and used intact, were called "boc," which eventually became "book."
Throughout the Eastern U.S., commercial concentration is in the Central and Middle Atlantic states. Average tree height is 120 feet.
Furniture, doors, flooring, millwork, paneling, brush handles, woodenware, bending stock, toys and turnings. It is particularly suitable for food and liquid containers since there is no odor or taste.
0.4 percent of total U.S. hardwoods commercially available.
Beech was used to make snuff boxes as well as mortars and pestles.
The sapwood is white with a red tinge, while the heartwood is light to dark reddish brown. The wood is generally straight-grained with a close uniform texture.
Beech works readily with most hand and machine tools. It has good nailing and gluing properties and can be stained to a good finish. The wood dries fairly rapidly but with a strong tendency to warp, split and surface check. It is subject to a high shrinkage and moderate movement in performance.
Beech is classed as heavy, hard, strong, high in resistance to shock and
highly suitable for steam bending. Good resistance to abrasive wear.