with each bud covered with
no scales, but covered by dense dark hair   >   pawpaw Asimina triloba or
 1  scale, like a hat or
 2  scales or

 4+ scales, bud length < 4×width or

5-6 scales, bud length > 4×width or
  8  scales, bud length > 4×width, very long (2½ cm) (1 in), angled away from twig :

 4+ scales, bud length < 4×width

terminal buds larger than side buds,   <13 mm (<½ in)
terminal buds larger than side buds, 13-19 mm (½-¾ in), tapering gradually, twigs=stout

terminal buds not noticeably larger than side buds

Terminal buds larger than side buds, <13 mm (<½ in)

buds=green or red;  bud scars have 1 bundle scar;        twigs=green, aromatic, taste like root beer   >   sassafras Sassafras albidum
buds=not green;      bud scars have >1 bundle scar (may be small);  twigs=not green

  8  scales, bud length > 4×width, very long (2½ cm) (1 in), angled away from twig

bark=light gray, very smooth, often w/carved graffiti;  in North American rich forest   >   American beech Fagus grandifolia
bark=light gray   >   European beech Fagus sylvatica