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Purple or Copper Beech, Fagus sylvatica Purpurea, is an excellent formal garden hedge plant that makes a bold statement and provides great contrast for green leaved plants and lawns located in front of it. Clipped beech hedges hold onto their autumn leaves in winter. Beech is suitable for any well drained soil, including chalk, although copper beech is not recommended for shady sites.
Copper Beech can be grown as a hedge of any height: it will reach 30 metres if it grows freely as a tree.
The plants on this page are young saplings, ideal for planting as hedging or in woodland projects.
You can buy larger Copper Beech trees here. You can also buy green beech plants.
Beech hedge plants are delivered bareroot during winter (Nov-March) and pot-grown year round. Bareroot Copper Beech saplings are cheaper than pot grown plants.
Choosing a size: When you are ordering Beech plants for a hedge, we generally recommend that you use plants that are graded at 40/60cms or 60/80cms. They are cheaper than large plants, easier to handle and they will establish well in poor conditions. Use larger plants when you need a tall hedge quickly, or if you are going to let them grow into trees. All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
Spacing a Copper Beech hedge:
Plant Copper Beech hedging at 3 plants per metre, 33cms apart.
You can also plant Copper Beech at 5 plants per metre in a staggered double row, with 33 cms between each plant and 40cms between the rows.
General description of Copper Beech plants:
Beech leaves are a rich copper colour in spring, changing to purple in early summer and darkening even more as summer wears on. Some people consider the overall effect to look gloomy, especially if the hedge is not in full sun. Another factor is the garden around the hedge: bright green plants and healthy lawns look great in front of a copper beech hedge because the contrast will make the greens stand out even more. The autumn colour of copper beech is warmer than green beech, with more of an orange hue.
By clipping a mature beech hedge in midsummer, you will help it to hold onto its autumn leaves during winter.
Mature beech trees have quite smooth, grey bark. Their small, inconspicuous flowers are pollinated by the wind.
History & uses of Fagus sylvatica Purpurea
Copper beech is a natural variant of green beech: about 1 in every 1000 green beech seeds will turn out to have at least partially purple or brown leaves. One of the earliest records identifying beech trees with purplish leaves dates back to Germany in the late 1400's.
Copper Beech, also called Purple Beech, may be listed as Fagus sylvatica purpurea, atropurpurea or atropunicea. They are all the same tree.
Our plants are seed grown from stable, purple-leaved parents. A very small percentage of these seeds revert back to green and these are weeded out in the nursery. In very rare cases, a plant may have copper leaves for up to 3 years from the time it sprouts before it suddenly turns green, so it is possible to end up with a single green-leaved plant in your hedge if you start with small plants. This is as natural (though much less common) as a blonde baby's hair turning brown.
Bonemeal is an organic, slow release fertiliser with some Nitrogen and a good supply of Phosporous & Calcium. Pack sizes 1.25Kg & 5Kg
Rootgrow mycorrhizal fungi speeds establishment. Available as: