Fagus sylvatica Purpurea (Purple/Copper Beech)
|Price £ each (ex. VAT)|
Bareroot from November to April
The prices above are offered as a guide and may be subject to fluctuation dependant upon the time of season and supply. We recommend that contact is made with the office for larger orders, a quotation and to check availability Alternatively please contact us to enquire about opening a wholesale account.
A handsome, large deciduous tree, with elegant spreading branches and dark purple leaves which turn copper in autumn and are a shimmering bronze in spring. It is widely planted in large parks and gardens, and often planted as an ornamental hedge. As a hedge, it retains its leaves over winter. With its smooth grey bark and delicate tracery of branches, it is attractive all year round.
Site and soil
Copper Beech needs a well-drained soil, but can cope with the extremes of both chalky and acid sands. Avoid heavy waterlogged soils. It will do well in shade.
Height and spread
After 10 years: 3m x 3m
After 20 years: 11m x 6m
Leaf and bark
The leaves are oval and shiny, 1.5cm long, emerging soft bronze and covered with silky hairs, then darkening to purple before becoming coppery before leaf fall. The colour can be variable from lighter to very dark purple. The bark is a very distinctive smooth pale grey.
Flower, seed and fruit
The flowers open in May alongside the young leaves in small clusters, the females near the tip of the shoots. The fruits (beech mast) ripen in autumn; the triangular nuts are enclosed within a spiky outer case.
Specimen tree, hedges. Beech wood is much used for furniture, wood-turning and charcoal. Beech mast has been used to feed pigs and poultry, and in times of famine has been eaten by humans too. In Europe, an edible oil has been made from the nuts.
Beech mast is an important food source for small mammals and birds. Both the leaves and timber are high in potash and help to enrich the soil.
Hedges should be pruned between July and August.