The Answer is:
or American Beech was the tree that was pictured in our last post. This tree has one of the most discernible bark types with the smooth grey bark. This tree is fairly common throughout woodlands in southeastern PA. The American Beech flowers in early spring just when the leaves are unfolding. The flowers will then form an edible fruit the "beech nut" which is eaten by a variety of mammals and birds. This tree is fairly shade tolerant and has a tendency to send up root sprouts around a mature beech.
This tree typically is subject to carvings because of the smooth bark This temptation should be avoided because cuts in the bark make the tree more susceptible to fungi or other diseases. If it is cut too deeply, you can actually "girdle" the tree by cutting off its food source. We should just enjoy the natural beauty of the tree and not try to make our initials last for hundreds of years in the forest.
Learn more about tree identification at our walk on January 12 at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve. Check out our website: www.tlcforscc.org for more details.