Thursday, April 19, 2018

Beechnuts and Bear Claws

American beech is one of the prettiest trees in the forests of northeastern North America. The tree’s bark is a uniform gray – smooth on healthy trees –

Its leaves are a dark green –

And the buds sharp pointed –

Beech usually reproduces by way of root sprouts which are one of the white-tailed deer's least favored foods –

However, it does produce seed at irregular intervals of two to eight years, sometimes longer. Beech seeds are borne in hulls that usually contain two nuts. When the fruit is ripe the hull splits open and the nuts drop to the ground –

Relished by squirrels, chipmunks, wild turkeys and black bears, the nuts are three-sided and rather small –

During years when the trees produce an abundance of nuts black bears climb the trees to feast on the nutritious nuts. In the process their sharp claws dig into the smooth bark –

The scars left by bears’ claws last for many years; the marks can vary from the bright, clean cuts less than a year old –

Through marks that are several years old  –

To scars that are many years old –

Some trees, those that produce an abundance of nuts in good years, show scars from bears having climbed for beechnuts on more than one year
Where they occur together beechnuts and bear claws are intricately entwined and part of their story can be read for many decades.


threecollie said...

How interesting! I will look for scars on the trees where we camp, as they produce a great many nuts and there are plenty of bears as well. Thanks

Betty J. Crow said...

Informative post. Those bear claws look strong. Have a wonderful weekend.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, it is a beautiful tree. I love the leaves. It is great the animals enjoy the nuts. The bear claws and scars on the trees are amazing. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

Victoria said...

This was such an interesting post, I'll be sure to look for the scars on beech trees when I'm out hiking.

A Colorful World said...

Love your beautiful beech trees! I learned so much about them from your post. Trees is a passion of mine. I really enjoy learning all I can about every type.

cocoya said...

Informative post. Those bear claws look strong. Have a wonderful weekend.

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