Fagus sylvatica

Fagus sylvatica rotundifolia
Fagus sylvatica rotundifolia

The tree we commonly call the European Beech or Common Beech, are Fagus varieties, with Fagus sylvatica being the species. However it is the many cultivars that adorn gardens across the country that are best known.

These are large trees with a smooth trunk. Excellent autumn color and although the flowers are inconspicuous the small fruits resemble nuts when ripe.


General Care

Although these trees seldom need pruning some varieties are best when the lower branches are removed to allow easier access beneath the trees and also making it more suitable for growing other plants beneath the canopy. This is simply called ‘raising the canopy’.

All are best in USDA zones 5 – 10, a humus rich, moist but well drained soil.


  • Fagus sylvatica is the European Beech and with well over 100 named cultivars some of the most widely used include:
  • Fagus sylvatica purpurea – This is a purple foliaged variety, deciduous and an excellent shade tree.
  • Fagus sylvatica rotundifolia – With a strong rounded form this variety makes an outstanding feature in the broader landscape. (pictured above)
  • Fagus sylvatica asplenifolia – A Green cut leaf beech with a rounded crown once established.
  • Fagus sylvatica ‘dawyck’ – This is an upright or columnar form, green, golden or purple foliage.
  • Fagus sylvatica riversii – More correctly named Fagus sylvatica purpurea var . riversii, deeper purple foliage.
  • Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula’ – A very attractive weeping form with green foliage
  • Fagus sylvatica ‘Atropunicea’ – This is the Copper Beech and we think it is one of the magnificent trees of the world.

Where to buy

Fagus sylvatica are available for sale from the following nurseries.

HIGHLAND HILL FARM – phone: 215-651-8329
PO Box 517 Fountainville, PA 18923
Includes: Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

LAKE COUNTY PINES – phone 847-487-7408
29685 N Fairfield Road Grayslake Il 60030