Fagus sylvatica ‘Rohanii’

cutleaf purple beech

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Cutleaf purple beech is one of the most majestic trees to add to the larger landscape. The structural beauty of the smooth, gray barked trunk and muscular lateral layered branches is only surpassed by the striking foliage. Deeply lobed, dark red-purple leaves grace this deciduous tree. The fringed margins create a stained glass effect when the glow of sunlight streaks through the canopy. Tolerant of tough urban conditions it is best used as a specimen tree, making a dominant statement for the garden. Minimize planting beneath this tree, mature specimens cast a deep shade and have a shallow competitive root system. Tough plants like our native sword fern, creeping mahonia or colorful yet non-invasive variegated Persian ivy (Hedera colchica 'Dendata Variegata') will tolerate these difficult conditions.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

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

Plant Width/Spread: 18 ft. 0 in. (5.49 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 80 ft. 0 in. (24.38 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 70 ft. 0 in. (21.34 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: occasional watering during prolonged dry periods

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: dark green, gold, silver, chartreuse

Great Color Partners: purple, bronze, burgundy

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.