Majestic native tree whose leaves emerge green before turning maroon as they age and take on reddish hues in autumn. A beautiful, balanced shape at all times of year, even in winter when the leaves have fallen and it cuts a distinctive silhouette, especially if underplanted with winter bulbs such as snowdrops. Grown as a woodland tree, the purple beech can reach, or as a specimen tree in a large garden or park. Like its non-purple cousin, it can also be grown as a hedge or even topiarised. Enjoys full sun but not as resistant to scorching light and dry summers as Carpinus betulus.
H x S: 12m x 8m
Aspect and soil: Tolerates most soils as long as not waterlogged but best in fertile, well-drained soil, in full sun.
Use: As a single specimen in a park, focal point, as hedging and even topiary.
Care: Beech has a naturally balanced shape so no pruning is required, unless you would like to raise the canopy, or it is grown as a hedge.
Wildlife: Beech nuts are a treat for small mammals.
Origin: Native to Europe