European beech is a large tree ranging up to 160 feet in height but usually between 80 and 115 feet tall with trunk diameters up to 5 feet. It can live from 150 years to as old as 300 years. Beech nuts are an important food for birds and other forms of wildlife. In its native Europe, a dense beech forest is dark and few plant species are able to survive there because the sun barely reaches the ground.
European beech leaves are alternate, simple, and entire with 6 to 7 veins on each side of the leaf. The leaves can remain on the tree until spring due to a process known as marcescence.
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