Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica purpurea)

Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica purpurea) is a beautiful large tree with elegant branches and leaves that can range in colour from purple through to dark reddish-green.

  • Copper Beech Tree  -  Fagus Sylvatica Purpurea  -  Mature Trees
  • Copper Beech Tree  -  Fagus Sylvatica Purpurea  -  Leaves
  • Copper Beech Tree  -  Fagus Sylvatica Purpurea  -  Winter Stems And Buds

Useful info about Copper Beech trees

Latin NameFagus sylvatica purpurea
TypeDeciduous (loses its leaves in winter)
HeightCan grow up to 40 metres (120 feet)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 10 metres (33 feet)
Soil Types PreferredChalk, Limestone, Sand
Locations SuitableGardens, Hedgerows, Parks, Patios
FlowersSmall flowers in spring / summer
FruitThe flowers become spiny fruits in the autumn

Similar Species


Copper Beech makes an attractive garden hedge, it is fast growing but only need to be trimmed once a year. Copper Beech hedges generally retain their dry autumn leaves until the new growth emerges in spring making them a good option for screening.

Copper Beech is a large tree, capable of reaching heights of up to 40 metres tall and 3 metres trunk diameter, though more typically 25-35 metres tall and up to 1.5 metres trunk diameter.

It has an average lifespan of 150 to 200 years, though sometimes up to 300 years.

Copper Beech bark is smooth and grey, with oval shiny un-toothed leaves, 4-9 cm long. The leaves emerge bronze and are fringed with long silky hairs. Leaves darken to purple before turning copper in the autumn..

Copper Beech makes perfect hedging / windbreaks.

Copper Beech will grow on almost any well-drained soil, except heavy clay. They thrive just about anywhere other than exposed and coastal locations.


The wood of the European Beech is used in the manufacture of numerous objects and implements. Its fine and short grain makes it an easy wood to work. It has an excellent finish and is resistant to compression and splitting.

It is particularly well suited for minor carpentry, particularly furniture. From chairs to parquetry (flooring) and staircases, the European Beech can do almost anything other than heavy structural support, so long as it is not left outdoors. Its hardness make it ideal for making wooden mallets and workbench tops.


Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.

Please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.

Culture and Symbolism

Beech is associated with femininity and is often considered the queen of British trees, where oak is the king.

In Celtic mythology, Fagus was the god of beech trees. It was thought to have medicinal properties – beech leaves were used to relieve swellings. Forked beech twigs are also traditionally used for divining.

Beech trees are often associated with wisdom.

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