Growing Beech Trees in UK Gardens and Landscapes – varieties and uses

If you are looking for stunning trees to enhance your garden, why not let England’s greatest gardener inspire you? ‘Capability’ Brown, the man that designed some of the most recognizable landscapes of eighteenth-century England, knew how to choose the most enchanting specimens for his projects, and the fact that beech trees were one of his favourites speaks volumes.

Beech Zlatia is prized for its striking golden-yellow foliage.
Beech Trees for Sale UK – The Golden Beech is highly decorative throughout the seasons, but truly marvellous in the autumn when its leaves turn to intense golden yellow.


Beech trees are a common sight in the United Kingdom. But don’t take this deciduous tree for granted, beech is anything but ordinary! For example, did you know that some sources indicate that the English word book comes from the old Germanic word for beech tree, bokiz? The claims are further reinforced by the belief that runes used to be inscribed on beechwood tablets, chosen for the tree’s smooth bark. In fact, the unwrinkled bark still tempts some people to write upon it, which is why beech trees are usually the ones most often covered with lover’s initials.

But the tree’s even bark was not the only unique feature it was prized for in the past. Many of the world’s greatest artists, including masters such as Gainsborough and Rembrandt, used beech to create some of their most memorable works, by using soot from burned beechwood to create a pigment called bistre. The brownish-yellow ink was then used for underpainting.

Apart from numerous practical uses beech trees were appreciated for, these highly-decorative trees have always been loved for their breathtakingly beautiful appearance. Just take Common Beech for example: there is nothing dull about the impressive canopy and lush foliage that changes from vibrant green to blazing red and oranges in the autumn.

Today, beech trees are grown for many reasons, whether to provide shade, add architectural value to the garden or to be the focus of interest in the landscape. They are not only versatile when it comes to their use in the garden, but also adaptable to numerous growing condition. These stately trees thrive in all well-drained soils and are happy in any garden where there is plenty of room to grow. As most beech trees can achieve a maximum height of 30 to 40 metres, they are mainly grown in large gardens and estates, but some cultivars can be ideally suited for smaller gardens. Red Obelisk Beech Tree is a good candidate for modest spaces, as its slender growth habit makes it quite compact. Fastigiate Beech, or Beech Dawyck as it is also referred to, is also a popular choice because of its columnar habit and narrow form. We also offer Beech Dawyck with gold and purple foliage.

With gold and purple-leaved varieties, Beech Dawyck is ideally suited for any landscape.
Beech Trees for Sale UK – Beech Dawyck Purple and Beech Dawyck Gold varieties are well loved for their sleder growth habit and remarkable foliage colour.


When it comes to trees that fit all landscapes regardless of their size, pleached beech trees make a spectacular addition to small and large gardens both. Trained to have a raised square crown above a clear stem, Pleached Common Beech, and Pleached Copper Beech will add structural value to the landscape and inspire admiration. Though pleached trees can be used to make an effective hedge with a stylish appearance, most UK gardeners pick Fagus Sylvatica Atropunicea or Purple Beech, which is shaped specifically for hedging purposes.

The square crown of pleached beech trees makes them ideal for hedges.
Beech Trees for Sale UK – These Pleached Copper Beech cultivars add architectural interest to the garden and make a splendid hedge.


Of course, we also sell beech trees shaped as full standards: the two of our most popular cultivars are Copper Beech and European Beech tree.

Purple Beech Trees for Sale UK

The deep violet foliage of these varieties might be their most obvious feature, but all purple beech varieties have defining traits of their own. For instance, Beech Purple Fountain has an upright growth habit with weeping branches which creates a cascading effect (hence the name). It is not the only purple-leaved beech cultivar with a weeping habit, though: Fagus Sylvatica Purpurea Pendula (Weeping Purple Beech) is known for its mushroom-shaped head, and Beech Black Swan is considered to be the most pendulous of all weeping beech trees.

Purple-leaved and with a weeping habit, Beech Puple Fountain is an excellent specimen tree.
Beech Trees for Sale UK – Fagus Sylvatica Purple Fountain is remarkable both for its unusual growth habit and the plum colour of its foliage.


Previously mentioned Beech Dawyck with slender fastigiate growth habit and the pleached Copper Beech also boast deep purple foliage that stands out in the landscape. These purple-leaved cultivars can make an excellent specimen tree or be used to add a bit of ‘drama’ to the garden. To further accentuate the dark hue of the leaves, pair these varieties with their rich green counterparts, or choose evergreen shrubs for underplanting.

Beech Trees with Marvellous Autumn Foliage

Although, at first glance, the purple beech trees might seem like the ones with more interesting foliage, regular green-leaved beeches take the victory in the autumn. Turning from vivid green hues that added that “magical greenery” effect to the landscape, beech trees can take on a whole range of warm shades in the most colourful season of the year.

Beech Dawyck Gold is a great candidate for smaller gardens, where it will provide multiple seasons of interest.
Beech Trees for Sale UK – Beech Dawyck Gold is an excellent example of how lovely and attractive the foliage of the species is.


If you are looking for an elegant and striking tree with autumn interest, consider the Golden Beech. This lovely tree stays true to its name and puts on a display of such deep yellow hues that it appears as though its leaves are made of molten gold.

Even though its foliage is unique among its relatives and therefore particularly attractive throughout the seasons Fern Leaved Beech is a sight to behold in the autumn, when its deeply cut leaves turn to a bright golden yellow.

The cut-leaved beech looks even more stunning in the autumn.
Beech Trees for Sale UK – The unusual foliage of the Fagus Sylvatica Asplenifolia is at its best in the autumn.


A weeping representative among the green-leaved beech trees, Fagus Sylvatica Pendula, better known as Weeping Beech, is particularly lovely when its drooping branches are adorned with orange-bronze foliage. Both the appealing display of autumn colours and its beautiful weeping habit make this beech cultivar a great specimen tree.

Last but not the least is the Beech Rohan Obelisk who offers best of both worlds, so to speak. Not only that this cultivar has an unusual growth habit that is narrow and vertical, but it also has both green and purple foliage. While its leaves emerge in a deep plum shade, they mature to green – only to be joined by a second flush of purplish young growth in mid-season, before the complete foliage turns to deep burgundy in the fall.

In the end, as long as you have enough space to grow it, it does not matter which beech tree variety you end up choosing, as they are all magnificent-looking and will stay that way for generations to come. The impressive stature, graceful habit and lush foliage make these trees a welcome sight in any garden!

Not sure which of the beech trees is the best choice for your garden or have any other question? Feel free to drop us an email or contact us on live chat. All of our beech trees are in stock and can be seen in person at our Plant Centre or ordered online- we do nationwide delivery!

Plum Trees or Prunus Domestica

Plum tree blossoms offer interest in the spring, but they are primarily grown for their fruit.
Plum trees are popular for their striking spring flowers and tasty fruit. Pictured here is River’s Early Prolific Plum Tree in bloom.


The Prunus Domestica is a family of fruit trees better known as plum trees, though not all plum varieties belong to this specific family. Exceptionally showy in the spring and with delicious fruit in the summer or autumn, plum trees keep on giving throughout the year and ask very little in return. We offer plum trees for sale in various sizes and bearing different types of fruits, all fully of which though are fully hardy in the United Kingdom. Read more Plum Trees or Prunus Domestica

Crab Apple Trees

Crab apple trees are ideally suited for specimen trees.
Crab Apple Trees for Sale – Toringo crabapple is a beautiful example of these charm these flowering trees.


Considered to be a heritage fruit tree, crab apple is a cherished cultivar with a proven performance in the United Kingdom. We offer crab apple trees for sale that are among the best-loved ornamental trees for small gardens, mainly for their compact size, gorgeous pink blossoms, and the abundant crop of tiny decorative fruit. Read more Crab Apple Trees

Trees for Small Gardens – Deciduous Evergreen & Topiary Choices

Planning a garden in a small space has its challenges, not the least of which is finding the best trees for small gardens. Luckily, there are many lovely small specimen trees to tuck into even the tiniest of city gardens! Many of these would even work in a courtyard or on a roof terrace where space is even more limited. When you can only fit in a few, you need trees that can deliver year-round interest, and we have lots to choose from. Below are perhaps the best of the best. We cover suggestions for deciduous, evergreen and topiary trees for small gardens.

A pair of fastigiate trees punctuate a water feature in an Italianate garden
A pair of fastigiate trees punctuate a water feature in an Italianate garden

1. Deciduous trees for small gardens

Read more Trees for Small Gardens – Deciduous Evergreen & Topiary Choices