Maple trees sprout and prosper best under beech canopies; likewise, beech sprouts thrive underneath maple canopies. The two trees often create maple-beech groves. Then the trees must take turns being the dominate one. Both trees will try to have the highest canopy. Neither tree wants to be part of the under story. So they oscillate, taking turns being on top.
In late fall, the brilliant colors of maple leaves drown out the beeches. But as winter sinks in, the maples loose all their color when their foliage drops. Devoid of color, their dark trunk blends into the forest. But beeches get to keep their tan paper-thin leaves. Though beech leaves are not impressive among a show of fall colors, in the drab of winter they add a yellow glow to a black or white world.