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Copper Beech Tree


Also known as European beech or purple beech, the copper beech (Fagus sylvatica purpurea) is a large, deciduous shade tree that reaches 60-80' tall and and 40-60' wide. It’s known for its beautiful burgundy foliage that turns a lovely shade of copper in fall. Unlike the native American beech, the copper beech was introduced into North American from Europe. It is grown extensively across American, partially because it tolerates a wider range of soils than our native species.

The copper beech grows quickly when planted in moist, well-drained soil and full sun. The copper beech is best grown as a single specimen tree, leaving plenty of space for it to grow. It doesn’t like being crowded and is not easily transplanted. Although it prefers to grow in full sun, copper beech trees have thin bark that is susceptible to sunburn when exposed. Small, yellow-green, wind-pollinated flowers appear in April to early May, depending on the weather. Edible, triangular-shaped nuts (also called “mast”) with a spiny cover appear in fall. Trees begin producing nuts at around 10 years of age but heavier crops don’t appear until the tree is about 30 years old.

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