BBY008 :: Fagus grandifolia or sylvatica

American or European beech. I need to see the flowers and the fruit to know for sure which species this is. Being a relatively small tree, it might be too young to show fruit. It may not be a beech since there are no native beeches on the West coast. Another species whose leaves these resemble is American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), which is in the birch family (Betulaceae) along with the paper birch and red alder a few weeks back. All of these options are native to Eastern North America.

This tree caught my eye since it had these brightly coloured leaves even in July when I wrote it on my list. I have seen other trees around the lake that look the same while having pure green leaves. This tree was quite small and the leaves were very sparse, stemming from several trunks. The bark is smooth and resembles that of the alder, having the same lichen growth patches.

Specimen recorded July 24, 2020, 18:20 about 100 m down the trail from BBY001. About 15’ (4.6 m) tall, with three main trunks.

Art by Nelson Spies, December 2, 2020. Acrylic on primed canvas sheet.

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