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American beech germinates and matures well in the dappled shade of a forest. When it reaches the forest canopy, it also does well in direct sunlight.
This smooth-barked tree has shallow roots that can gather moisture at the surface of the soil; it tolerates steep slopes and can make do with either small amounts of rain or moist, well drained soils.
It is said that the settlers liked to stuff their hand-made mattresses with its leaves because they tend to not crumble.