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Fagus sylvatica Atropurpurea Group

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Tree

Habit

Bushy

Origin

Native to the UK

Resilience

Hardiness

old H4 (hardy)

Colour

Flower

Purple in Spring

Foliage

Dark Purple in Spring and Summer
Purple and Red in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

Higher than 12 metres

Ultimate spread

wider than 8 metres

Time to ultimate height

more than 50 years


Preferred common name

copper beech

Family

Fagaceae


Fagus are large deciduous trees with smooth grey bark, ovate leaves colouring well in autumn, and inconspicuous flowers followed by usually spiny fruits

Atropurpurea Group are large deciduous trees grown for their deep purple leaves, which become reddish in autumn

Other common names

  • copper beech
  • purple beech

Synonym(s)

  • Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea
  • Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea'

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • North-facing, East-facing, South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered or Exposed

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil in sun or partial shade

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Architectural or Flower borders and beds


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Aphids and beech bark scale may be a problem

Diseases

May be affected by coral spot and heart and root rot in mature trees