Beech tree value


Well-Known Member
So I'm trying to accomplish some deer walkways and hinge cutting this winter in an area with relatively mature timber. I have a lot of beech trees and was wondering if anyone sees it as valuable for wildlife or timber. If not, I'm going to plan my walkways to target the beech tree areas so I can leave my oaks alone. Would targeting maples be a better idea? I'm concerned equally about monetary value and wildlife value. Thanks in advance for your help!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Value wise, oaks first then maples. Beech is on the lower end of timber value and wildlife value in my opinion. If you plan on hinging or cutting beech just remember beech will sucker sprout all over the place after you cut it. I find this very useful on trails because it creates a lot of screening as beech holds it's leaves a very long time.
Beech is a low value tree around here. I cut and stump treated a bunch last year.
Many of my larger beech have holes and are used by various wildlife to den/nest. I usually try to save those trees. Other than that they are pretty low value and we hinge them. They make great cover between keeping the leaves and suckering.
Leave the giants for wildlife if you have any, as stated, they often create dens for other animals. I eradicate most of the small ones because they grown leaves in the understory and can block out sunlight. That being said, I have a few that hold tree stands along trails because the leaves stay on well into winter. But to answer your question, no timber value.
I can go into a set of woods and cut a 3 acre patch of them and the next 3 years the browse would be 10 times the value that the nuts,not to mention the new cover.I cut on my place in the center of woodlots.
Beech trees have low timber value from a logging perspective. Large trees provide many den cavities for other wildlife and beechnuts are a hard mast source for wildlife (including deer) as well. Beech wood is good for firewood. Beech also hold their leaves late in the year as well so they can be great for visual screens. I have hinged smaller ones in the past. The tops tend to die off, but the stumps live and will sprout into a large shrub if not treated. Beech cast a lot of shade as well.

If you have other trees to provide hard mast - I would cut beech well before I would the oaks. I would NOT expect many takers on the beech timber, but you may find some takers of it in firewood. Cavity trees for coons, squirrels, owls, bats and other critters should remain if possible as they tend to have weak or damaged crowns anyway.

just my 2 cents worth.
I can go into a set of woods and cut a 3 acre patch of them and the next 3 years the browse would be 10 times the value that the nuts,not to mention the new cover.I cut on my place in the center of woodlots.
My understanding is that beech browse has one of the lowest nutritional values of any hardwood. The PA Game Commission has documented deer starving to death with a belly full of beech browse. The nuts on the other hand are high in protein and fats.
I'm talking about other types of browse not beech.Im sure there would be beech as well but that's not whats happening in my set of hinge cuts.Where I cut beech there is all sorts of vines,as well as other trees growing up through the downed beech tops.My woodlots are surrounded by agriculture so I'm not worried about the nutritional value of the beech saplings.I cut beech to increase the cover in my sanctuary and improve where I can.
Beech here falls into pallet wood, wood chips or firewood. That transfers here at this time to $3 per ton chips, $8 per ton pallet, and about $10 per full cord in log length depending on the logger. Beech is about last on the list of browse eaten here. Have only noticed it eaten in state parks where there were lots of deer and very little under story. Every five years or so I have noticed a good crop of beechnuts here and the deer used it.

This year where we logged the healthy Beech were left standing while all of the ones with sick looking bark were removed. There aren't too many stands of it and each tree type adds to the enjoyment of the property. And there are only four or five oak trees on the property so any hard mast in addition to our hickories is extra welcome when it comes.

As mentioned some of them take a lot of sky space with their large crowns and thus cutting even one can bring lots of sun and new browse. And a cut beech with a big crown lying on the ground is difficult to walk thru.

Maple values here are high here for hard maple logs and low for red maple logs. One really has to look at the stand to see whether hinge cutting would really hurt the thirty year future value of the stand or not.