The sapwood of American beech is white with a red tinge, while the heartwood is light to dark reddish brown. American beech tends to be slightly darker and less consistent than European beech. The wood is generally straight grained with a close uniform texture.
American beech works readily with most hand and machine tools. It has good nailing and gluing properties and can be stained and polished to a good finish. The wood dries fairly rapidly but with a strong tendency to warp, split and surface check. It is subject to a large shrinkage and moderate movement in performance.
American beech wood is classified as heavy, hard, strong, high in resistance to shock and highly suitable for steam bending.
Rated as non-resistant to heartwood decay, and liable to attack by the common furniture beetle and longhorn beetle, but permeable for preservation.
Furniture, doors, flooring, internal joinery, panelling, brush handles and turning. It is particularly suitable for food containers as there is no odor or taste.