Purple Weeping Beech

jskeyes2(Z10 San Diego)February 10, 2008


I got a fagus sylvatica 'purpurea pendula' (purple weeping beech) and I am trying to figure out where to plant it. I see lots of information that they don't get over 10' but see other information that they can get up to 25'. Right now, the tree in the pot is over 6'. Anyone have some real life experience with this one as far as growth rate and height? Thanks!

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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

If it is actually purple pendula it won't get much taller any time soon unless you stake it taller. It will slowly get wider. At the rate mine and my mothers grow it would take 20+ years to get 10" wide and wouldn't get much taller. David

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:27PM
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rokoku(z6b PA)

I know of at least two that are approaching 20' tall without staking.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:29PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

'Purpurea Pendula' is a small purple mushroom and 'Purple Fountain' is a tall narrow shepherd's crook (at first). Are we all talking about the same thing? Perhaps the biggest 'Purple Fountain' in Seattle (USDA 8), growing in a former private garden begun in 1907 was in 2006 a whopping 10 ft. tall. Don't know if anyone around now knows when the beech was planted, or how big it was, but it's likely to be comparatively old.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 11:20PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

'Purpurea Pendula', not 'Purple Fountain'. There are already numerous 'Purple Fountain' over 30 ft. tall in this area.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 11:24PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The 10 ft. one is 'Purpurea Pendula'.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 11:25PM
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jskeyes2(Z10 San Diego)

Thanks for all the follow up. I know the tag says it is a purple pendula, not fountain, but who knows, could be tagged wrong. I am surprise than they would be selling it at well over 6' tall - sounds like if it is a true pendula that it would take years to get that high.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:52AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I think I may have seen 'Purpurea Pendula' trained up to have a narrow shape. More initial height can also be achieved by grafting on a taller rootstock trunk. Weeping laceleaf maples are also offered trained up so that you get something more than a low mound, as well as without training.

The 'Purpurea Pendula' will immediately start to droop above the point to which it was trained up if tying into a stake is not continued, whereas 'Purple Fountain' grows up on its own. They also have different leaf pigmentation.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:43PM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

The purple pendula that I have was about 6' tall at the nursery and had been stakes to that height. The top was in poor condition so I got it cheap and cut it off at 3' which is the size I wanted and it now looks great. I have also seen them top graft at a local nursery as BBoy said. It make for a taller plant is a shorter time. David

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 3:53PM
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rokoku(z6b PA)

I retract my statement. I suppose the tall ones I've seen are 'Purple Fountain.'

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 11:37PM
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coralbelle(z5 ON)

When in doubt, I always refer to Michael Dirr. He says:

"Purpurea Pendula" is a broad, mushroom-shaped, weeping, purple-leaved form that never becomes too large: the largest specimens I have seen were about 10 feet. It does not develop a central leader and the branches develop in a broad arch"
"Purple Fountain" has "narrow upright growth and a central stem from which the branches hang down in a loose cascading fahion, can grow up to 25 feet tall"

Either way, you have a lovely plant!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 8:01AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>can grow up to 25 feet tallSeattle, WA, 2006 (where 'Purple Fountain' was not sold until the 1990s):

- 2015 Airport Way S: 31 1/2 feet
- 21st Ave NW & NW 65th St: 32 feet
- 33rd Ave NE & NE 73rd St: 30 feet

'Pendula' and 'Purple Fountain' of the same size and shape are displayed side-by-side at outlets here, suggesting that 'Purple Fountain' will eventually produce much taller and wider specimens than we have seen so far.

"Fagus sylyatica ÂPurpurea Pendula is possibly the most popular beech presently grown in this country. The demand still exceeds the supply. It is strongly pendulous and must be staked to grow upward. This growth habit, coupled with the dark purple leaves, results in a very pleasing form. The failure to generate a central leader is a drawback of this cultivar. Fagus sylvatica ÂPurple Fountain is a recently developed cultivar that does not have this problem. Staking the young plant will start it upwards, allowing it to continue such development by itself. The nurserymen growing this plant are quite excited about it. The leaves are not as dark as ÂPurpurea PendulaÂ, but the growth habit more than compensates for this slight difference."

Here is a link that might be useful: CULTIVARS OF EUROPEAN BEECH

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 2:34PM
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I purchased a home last year with a purple beech already established. It has a large sturdy trunk with umbrella shape to the branches and is about 5 feet tall. Would it be considered a pendula? Also, should it be fertilized every year? This is planted next to the house right outside my bedroom window. I love the tree and enjoy seeing it each morning when I wake. Noticed this morning that it was covered with white aphids so sprayed it with insecticidal soap.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 10:52AM
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How far south can the European beech be grown?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 2:00AM
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