One of the best mid-sized trees with smooth, gray, fluted bark. The flowers are in the form of catkins and are not highly visible. The fruit hangs in 4-6 inch clusters. Fall color can be red, ... yellow, and orange. The tree is highly adaptable to different soils and pH. In full sun it will grow in a formal, upright character, but if grown in shade it will have a more loose, informal shape. Many people have used this tree as a screen or even a clipped hedge. Blue Beech is part of the birch family.