The Copper beech tree, also known as the European beech tree or by the scientic name Fagus sylvatica, is from the Fagaceae family. It is native to Europe.
This slow-growing deciduous tree has a short trunk and broad shape. It will grow 50 to 60 feet tall and can be 50 feet wide. The tree flowers April to May.
The copper beech needs acidic, well-drained, moist soil with full sun. It will need pruning in early summer or fall. You can transplant this beech during its dormant season.
European beech has dark green glossy leaves that are 2 to 4 inches long with a width of 2 inches. In fall they will turn a reddish-bronze color, greatly enhancing the autumn landscape.
The copper beech can have pests and bark disease (beech canker and grey mould being two examples). Grass won’t grow well underneath these trees and they tend to sucker. Its fruits, which drop onto the ground, can get a little messy for those who like a pristine lawn.
This tree is typically used for golf courses or parks. Home use is as a hedge, lawn tree, or for a wide open space.
Copper beech is propagated by cuttings or via seed sown into the ground.
Beech tree firewood burns hot with very little sparking which can help reduce the risk of a possible flue fire. The wood also splits well when seasoned but may require a maul or wedge because, even seasoned, the wood is hard. Seasoned beech firewood produces very little smoke.
The beech bark disease, caused by the beech bark scale insect (Cryptococcus fagisuga Lindinger), first occurred in Maine in the 1930s. The disease has spread and now occurs as far south as North Carolina and as far west as Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website. The only way to control the disease successfully is to reduce its spread.
To help reduce the risk of spreading the beech bark insects, never transport beech firewood more than 25 miles from the location where it was cut. Beech bark firewood should never be transported during the summer and fall when the insects are in their crawler life stage and can easily be blown from the wood to infest healthy beech trees. Beech wood with no bark is considered non-infectious.
Mound up soil around the base of the tree to form a watering ring. Make the mound 3 inches high for a small tree to 10 inches high for a larger tree. Make the ring about 8 inches wide around the base of the tree. Place the water well 6 inches beyond the tree’s drip line. The watering ring helps to concentrate the water to the tree’s roots and is especially important for the newly planted tricolor beech tree.
Place a 3-inch layer of mulch within the watering ring. This will help to conserve moisture on especially hot or windy days.
Water the tricolor beechnut tree only when the top 4 inches of soil is dry. Fill the inside of the watering ring with eight to 10 gallons of water. Overwatering may cause the foliage to lose some of its brilliance; it’s best to keep the tree a little stressed.