Fagus sylvatica ‘Riversii’

rivers purple beech

  • © J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

  • © J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

Outstanding Qualities

The rich, dark purple foliage emerges in springtime with larger leaves - up to 5 inches in length - than typical and holding the color through much of the summer before adding some green and then turning copper in autumn. This handsome tree eventually grows very large up to 50 feet (15m) tall at maturity and almost half again as wide so it is definitely for the larger garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 7 ft. 0 in. (2.13 meters)

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

Plant Width-Mature: 40 ft. 0 in. (12.19 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: large purple-colored leaves in spring, copper colors in autumn

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 sticky “honeydew” from the aphids can create sticky surfaces.