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How to Transplant Purple Fountain Beech Tree

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Purple Fountain Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica) grows in Zones 4 to 7. It is a deciduous tree that has cascading branches and dark-colored foliage. The leaves are usually bronze-purple in color and turn greener through summer. In the fall, the color starts as yellow and turns to orange-brown. Purple fountain beech tree grows as tall as 30 feet high and 15 feet wide. It does best in full sun to partial shade and can adapt to most soil types. Trees that are in unwanted locations can be transplanted to a more desirable spot.

Transplant purple fountain beech tree during the dormant (non-growing) season. Late winter or early spring is best for moving trees because the tree has more time to recover before growth begins.

Choose a planting site that is in full sun, if possible. That's the best growing environment for the tree. Also, make sure the soil drains well and is acidic. Buy a pH test kit from a nursery to determine acidity.

Water the purple fountain beech tree thoroughly before moving it. Dig into the soil around the trunk to determine how wide the roots are. Remember that the roots spread, so allow a wide berth around the tree.

Look for roots as you go. Expand the hole to keep as many intact as possible. Loosen up as many roots as you can. Cut tough ones with pruning shears if necessary. Gently lift the tree out of its current hole.

Dig a hole as wide as the purple fountain beech tree's root mass. Loosen up extra soil on the sides of the hole to give the roots help expanding. Place the tree in the hole, spreading out the roots by hand.

Backfill the hole with a mixture of the soil removed from the original hole and new planting soil. Pack down the dirt to get rid of air holes. Water thoroughly.


Things You Will Need

  • pH test kit
  • Shovel
  • Hand pruners
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Gloves


  • In areas with poor drainage, elevate the tree in the hole. Place one-third of the root mass above the surrounding ground and cover with soil. This will help drainage.
  • Wear gloves when transplanting purple fountain beech trees.


  • Don't bury the tree in a hole that is too deep.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.