Copper Beech is a non-native member of the Fagaceae family. Somewhere around the 15th Century it appeared as a natural mutant variety. Copper Beech are perceived as ancient woodland where found growing naturally, but in fact many were planted quite recently. After the great storm many were not replaced and sycamore and ash, faster growing trees took over. The real native Copper Beech are only found South of the Severn.
Copper Beech are known and grown as an ornamental tree , recognisable by their deep purple coppery, coloured leaves perfect for lining avenues or as a single specimen in formal situations. Copper Beech are best in full sun showing off their majestic colour and height. Copper Beech grow up to a height of 40m and can live up to 300 years old. Copper Beech are valuable to wildlife providing food from their leaves and nuts. The bark hosts fungi, mosses and lichens.
Copper Beech have thin bark and are known as the graffiti tree, as over the centuries, people have carved into their bark. Copper Beech like a well drained slightly acid type soil and grow well in a humid atmosphere.
Copper Beech leaves are oval shaped, fringed with silky brown hairs in a criss cross pattern. Copper Beech are monoecious, containing both male and female flowers. In Spring tassel male catkins hang from long stalks on the end of grey slender twigs. Female flowers are cup shaped which become woody enclosing one or two red brown nuts.
Copper Beech have a short trunk and grow into a roughly oval or pyramid shape. Their wood is used in kitchens and furniture making.
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