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Beech, Copper / Purple

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Beech, Copper / Purple Fagus sylvatica purpurea From £2.40
Beech, Green

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Beech, Green Fagus sylvatica From £1.08

What is Beech Hedging?

Beech, Fagus sylvatica, is one of the best loved formal hedging plants in the UK, and it also makes a wonderful stock proof, livestock friendly hedge for enclosing stables and studs, often planted on top of bunds and traditional Devon banks.

It is not evergreen, but a clipped beech hedge will hold onto its Autumn leaves through most of the winter, giving you privacy and interest almost year round. 

Copper / Purple Beech is more dramatic, a bit more expensive and probably adds more value.
Green Beech is an easier backdrop for most flower beds, and so more versatile. 

Uses: Formal and stock-friendly hedges from 100cm upwards.

Good Points: Native, holds leaves in winter, clips beautifully.

Position: Anywhere with good drainage and light.

We also sell Green & Purple Beech trees in standard sizes.

How many Beech hedge plants do I need?

The planting density for your Beech hedge depends on the purpose:

  • For a normal garden boundary hedge, plant at 3 plants per metre (every 33cm) in a single row.
  • A stock-proof country hedge requires 2 staggered single rows (i.e. start one row 16.5cm after the other), with 40cm between rows. That works out at 5 plants per metre in total. 
  • An interior hedge for purely decorative purposes can be planted at 2 plants per metre (every 50cm) in a single row.

What size Beech hedge plants should I buy?

  • If you are not in a hurry to get a full sized beech hedge, we recommend starting with smaller sizes: up to 60cm tall.
  • If you are in a hurry and need instant impact, or are filling gaps in an existing hedge, then of course pick the biggest size that fits your budget.

Smaller plants are cheaper, easier to plant, and tend to establish better because they are dug up with most of their roots intact.
You can also clip them attentively and ensure a very bushy plant from the base up.

If you still aren't sure, then 60/80cm tall is considered the ideal compromise between price, size, and waiting time until you get a mature hedge.  

Your beech plants are delivered by mail order direct from our nursery, along with expert advice, friendly support, plus our bareroot Guarantee and Free Returns for all plants, so you can give them a whirl with complete confidence.


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What is the difference between Copper / Purple Beech and Green Beech?

Purple (AKA copper) Beech is the same as Green Beech in all respects apart from the leaf colour. 

Purple Beech leaves actually start off mostly green in Spring, although a good bit darker green than Green Beech, maturing through a range of winey-maroon colours to luxurious deep purple, turning marmalade orange in Autumn.

Green Beech leaves emerge bright green in Spring, which look divine with the sunlight filtering through them. They mature to a glossy mid-green in Summer, followed by a vibrant coppery-yellow colour in the Autumn, a touch brighter than Purple Beech. 

Both varieties will hold their Autumn foliage (which is brown by this point) through most of the Winter, provided that they were clipped at least once during summer.

What is the difference between Beech and Hornbeam?

Green Beech, Fagus sylvatica, and Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, are unrelated but similar looking when grown as a hedge. 
Basically, Beech is best, but if it's not suitable for your location, Hornbeam is a pretty close substitute. 

Difference in Appearance:

  • Beech is definitely the most popular due to its faster growth and more beautiful, smooth green leaves, which hang onto the branches through most of Winter
  • Hornbeam leaves are wrinkled, a more muted shade of green, and only remain on the branches for part of the Winter.

Difference in Growing Conditions:

  • Beech really needs plenty of sun and well drained soil: it does not perform well in the shade, nor in damp soils that waterlog in Winter.
  • Hornbeam pretty much grows anywhere, and is definitely suitable for shady sites and damp soils.

If there are puddles of rainwater where you are going to plant your hedge 12-24 hours after heavy rain, the ground is probably too wet for beech.

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