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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!