Copper Beech Hedging
Copper Beech Hedge Plants
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. Beech leaves are a rich copper colour in spring, changing to purple in early summer and darkening further as summer wears on. 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. Beech is suitable for any well drained soil, including chalk, although copper beech is not recommended for shady sites. It 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 see our full range of beech hedging.
Beech hedge plants are delivered bareroot during winter (Nov-Apr). All our hedge plants are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured). hedges are best planted ina single row using three plants per metre. For extra wind protection or for a denser beech hedge, quicker, then you can plant in two rows using five plants per metre
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.