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Fagus sylvatica Atropurpurea

Copper Beech

Deep purple leaves and large spreading habit

The copper or purple beech is a familiar ornamental tree of landscapes, parks and woodlands throughout the UK and Europe. The newly minted coppery coloured leaves darken to rich purple as the summer progresses before falling in autumn.


An impressive tree but more often grown as a hedge enjoying a sunny or lightly shaded spot, and wonderful for creating shelter and garden structure. As the leaves turn golden-brown in the autumn they often remain throughout the winter.


A versatile woodland tree that prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soil and is quite happy on chalky soils.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental tree
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Spring, Summer, Autumn
Evergreen No
Plant height 1200 cm - 1500 cm
Plant width 800 cm - 850 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 270 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H6

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Light sand
Light exposure Part shade, Full sun
Soil drainage Medium, Well drained
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Position the stake in the hole, on the side of the prevailing wind and drive it into the soil, to a depth of 60cm. The stake should be a third of the height of the tree, when planted. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole close to the stake, with the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Use two tree ties to secure the stem to the stake. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year. Check ties regularly and adjust them as the tree grows.

Planting site City garden, Courtyard garden

Typically available

From April to September