Fagus sylvatica 'ATROPUNICEA'

Fagus sylvatica
Fagus sylvatica 'ATROPUNICEA'
copper beech
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized tree
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES burgundy red
LOCATION full sun
SOIL TYPE any (acidic to alkaline)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 4   (down to -34°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
Hedging plants
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Beech is a reliable and hardy tree of our climate. There are many wild forms, hybridized varieties, and selections on market these days that can satisfy the taste of almost everyone. It is easily distinguished by glossy, mostly broadly elliptic leaves with conspicuous venation. Beech is used both in private gardens and in green spaces in towns and cities because it does not require any maintenance once established.

Atropunicea is a copper beech variety from the atropurpurea group but not a synonym for forma purpurea as often described. Atropunicea is a vegetatively propagated variety which keeps its characteristics and is much smaller that the species, nearly half its size. It features maroon foliage which is brighter when young, turning darker to purple-green when mature, and in autumn changing to copper red.

Naturally it forms feathered trees with uneven trunks which need staking to become straight. In nurseries they are often trained into standard trees with 2m tall bare trunks by removing lower branches. As in most beeches the canopy is rather irregular and needs age to become rounded. Atropunicea is a popular deciduous hedging plant, too, and just like hornbeams it keeps its dry foliage on the branches until spring.

Beech is not fussy about the soil type – it can live in a wide range of well-drained soils, from slightly alkaline to slightly acidic, and once established it withstands drought better than most other broadleaved trees. Grow it in full sun or just a light shade for a part of the day. It can be pruned in late winter and trimmed for a hedge in midsummer. Newly planted trees with a trunk height of 1.5 m and taller need to be staked to a strong support for at least 3 years before the roots establish. Fully hardy to min. -34 °C (USDA zone 4).

Last update 21-11-2022

Fagus sylvatica  (syn.
Fagus sylvatica
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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