Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck Purple’

columnar purple European beech

  • © J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

  • © J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

Outstanding Qualities

The dark purple foliage of this magnificent columnar tree is difficult not to notice. In spring deep reddish-purple leaves emerge and darken to burgundy purple. In winter the strong upright limbs surround a central trunk with smooth pale gray bark create and interesting bare framework. It is one of the most striking and beautiful of all columnar trees.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: columnar tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 50 ft. 0 in. (15.24 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: regular to occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: a tree of all seasons, but the dark purple foliage is spectacular through the summer and the strong angles of the branches are beautiful during winter

Resistant to: rabbits, slug, snail

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, cream, silver, yellow

Great Color Partners: dark green, lavender, purple, violet

Culture Notes
This European beech can tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions from sand to clay as long as the drainage is adequate. Once established it only needs occasional watering during prolonged dry periods. It is a handsome specimen and should be provided enough space to fully develop. It rarely needs pruning to maintain its naturally graceful and majestic form and the thin, delicate bark can be easily injured. For these reasons, consult an experienced pruner or arborist before attempting to prune. Woolly aphids can be a minor problem, but sprays are not required since they do not jeopardize the tree’s vigor or health. Avoid planting near driveways or patios where the “honeydew” from the aphids can create sticky surfaces and the maturing roots can damage the pavement.