Due to a heat index exceeding 90 degrees, the Millennium Trail and Elm Lick Trail will remain closed until further notice.

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: More Barking

By Wren Smith

beech bark
beech bark

In my post last week I wrote about several of the trees that you can easily identify on the Bent Twig Trail by their bark.  However, I forgot to include one of the most common on this trail: the Amercian Beech, Fagus grandifolia. Often growing in association with maple trees, our native beech trees have light gray bark that ranges in texture from smooth enough to tempt some to carve their  initials (please don’t) to rough and wrinkled like elephant hide.

I wrote about beech trees in earlier posts on this blog, but since then, I’ve also learned that burnt beech wood has been used to add a smoky flavor to some German beers, and that a type of liqueur can be made by steeping young beech leaves in gin. So you might say that beech trees  have a “spirited” nature.  On your next visit to Bernheim see if you can locate beech trees in the woods by their bark.  While you’re here be sure to check out our lovely European Weeping Beeches, Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula’. As you drive back out towards the entrance, these beauties will be in a grove on your right.  I’m sure you will agree that their form is especially stunning in the winter when their curving branches are bare and highlighted by snow.


Want more Tales from Bent Twig? Click here to view the archive.

Our Newsletter

Sign up for the Bernheim Buzz

Get the "buzz" of Bernheim activity weekly in your inbox by signing up below.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.