The beech has an attractive smooth, silvery-grey bark and, if given enough room to grow, can become an impressively sized tree, forming a strong, dome canopy. The leaves are oval and shiny, with a wavy margin. The slender twigs have a zigzag appearance, with winter buds placed alternately along either side. The buds, are covered in brown scales, are long and narrow, and taper to a sharp point. The tree produces triangular nuts (also known as masts) which are covered in prickles.