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Fagus Sylvatica Black Swan, also called Black Swan Beech or Weeping Purple Beech, is a striking mid-sized deciduous tree with beautiful deep purple glossy foliage and a very graceful ornamental weeping form.
Common Beech (Fagus Sylvatica) is native to Europe and the UK. Fagus Sylvatica Black Swan is a clone developed in the Netherlands both for its purple-coloured foliage and the distinctive weeping shape. The glossy leaves emerge in spring a copper bronze colour, rapidly turning an extremely dark purple, becoming almost black in the summer months before turning golden-bronze in autumn, and remain on the tree through the winter until new leaves emerge in spring. The summer leave colour is darker than other purple beech varieties such as Fagus Sylvatica Purpurea Pendula. Inconspicuous green flowers in spring produce small, edible nuts in spiny cases in autumn. In terms of habit, Black Swan is an upright variety with deeply pendulous branches.
Height & Spread: Hardy throughout the UK, Fagus Sylvatica Black Swan will grow to 6 metres high by 3 metres wide in 20 years, reaching a mature height of 15 metres and spread of 5 metres in 50 years. Little pruning is necessary to maintain its narrow weeping form, but if desired, prune in late winter. It can also be trained to create an even more dramatic appearance.
Plant Fagus Sylvatica Black Swan in full sun in an exposed or sheltered position in any well-drained soil. It is important to site Black Swan Beech in full sun for best foliage colour. Fagus Sylvatica Black Swan has a low tolerance for salt, so should be planted with protection from sea winds in coastal areas. However, it is tolerant of urban pollution, so is a good choice for city gardens. Since Black Swan Beech is deer-resistant, it can be planted without special protection on country properties.
This tree is a natural for a focal point in a lawn or parkland, as its dramatic colouring and shape will inevitably draw the eye. Planted at the back of a mixed border, Fagus Sylvatica Black Swan will provide a dark background for flowering plants, and add winter interest with its weeping form. Sited against a light-coloured wall, Black Swan Beech will stand out! Wherever you plant it, make sure that you give it enough room to develop its shape without having to cut it back to fit- this is a tree that you will want to let grow at will!
Fagus Sylvatica Black Swan is an especially desirable beech cultivar- its dramatic dark purple glossy leaves and narrow, weeping form combine to make it a truly unique specimen tree!