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Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Purple Beech)

Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea'


£2.46 Per Plant £2.05 Per Plant

The Purple Beech is a very popular choice as a standalone specimen and make great alternatives to fences or walls when grown as hedges.  It has stunning dark purple-red foliage in the spring, turning into a dark green-bronze gradually over the year. They will grow perfectly well in either sun or partial shade and thrive on almost any well-drained soil. Purple Beech forms a fantastically dense windbreak hedge.

Exclusive grower of RHS Hedging Plants
Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Purple Beech)
Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Purple Beech) Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Purple Beech) Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Purple Beech) Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Purple Beech) Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Purple Beech) Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Purple Beech) Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Purple Beech)
Pre-order now for delivery from the 4th November onwards!
Grouped product items
Per Bundle
Type Bare Root Height 40-60cm Age 3 Years (1+2) Delivery 1-2 Days Plants Per Bundle 25 1+ £70.80 £59.00 (£2.36 Per Plant) (£2.83 Per Plant) 2+ £67.50 £56.25 (£2.70 Per Plant) (£2.25 Per Plant) 10+ £64.50 £53.75 (£2.58 Per Plant) (£2.15 Per Plant) 20+ £61.50 £51.25 (£2.46 Per Plant) (£2.05 Per Plant)
Type Bare Root Height 60-80cm Age 3 Years (1+2) Delivery 1-2 Days Plants Per Bundle 25 1+ £114.90 £95.75 (£3.83 Per Plant) (£4.60 Per Plant) 2+ £105.00 £87.50 (£4.20 Per Plant) (£3.50 Per Plant) 10+ £100.50 £83.75 (£4.02 Per Plant) (£3.35 Per Plant) 20+ £93.60 £78.00 (£3.74 Per Plant) (£3.12 Per Plant)
Type Bare Root Height 80-100cm Age 3 Years (1+2) Delivery 1-2 Days Plants Per Bundle 25 1+ £130.20 £108.50 (£4.34 Per Plant) (£5.21 Per Plant) 2+ £125.70 £104.75 (£5.03 Per Plant) (£4.19 Per Plant) 10+ £122.40 £102.00 (£4.90 Per Plant) (£4.08 Per Plant) 20+ £117.00 £97.50 (£4.68 Per Plant) (£3.90 Per Plant)
Type Bare Root Height 100-125cm Age 3 Years (1+2) Delivery 1-2 Days Plants Per Bundle 10 1+ £66.96 £55.80 (£5.58 Per Plant) (£6.70 Per Plant) 2+ £65.76 £54.80 (£6.58 Per Plant) (£5.48 Per Plant) 10+ £64.56 £53.80 (£6.46 Per Plant) (£5.38 Per Plant) 20+ £63.36 £52.80 (£6.34 Per Plant) (£5.28 Per Plant)

We grow all of our Purple Beech right here in the UK, at our nursery in Herefordshire. They’re grown in an iron-rich soil that’s chock full of nutrients and minerals to help our Purple Beech grow strong and give some extra sheen to their signature deep glossy foliage. Our fields sprawl across the base of the Malvern Hills, exposing our plants to varied and intense weather throughout the year. Unlike some nurseries that import their plants from overseas, we’ve grown ours to be hardy against our harsh UK climate. If you’re looking for Purple Beech that has been grown just as nature intended right here in the country, then look no further.

It’s is no stranger to parks and woodlands across the UK, when allowed to grow as full-sized trees they are very popular as a standalone specimen and they make great alternatives to fences or walls when grown as hedges. They’re majestic looking plants, with thick branches and a spreading habit, casting plenty of shade from their broad canopies. The bark is smooth and grey, with rippling that runs across in occasional spots. The flowers are small, and end up being covered by those large glossy leaves most of the time.  Their nuts ripen in the autumn, and attract plenty of smaller animals to the branches looking for a feast. Around this same time the leaves turn slowly to a dark coppery brown, creating a gorgeously stark contrast against the grey bark. Despite being deciduous, the leaves will usually manage to hang around through the winter, dropping only to make way for the new growth in spring.

Grown as a hedge, Purple Beech forms a dense barrier that is great for soundproofing. They can be trimmed back decently hard without too much trouble, and they make for a good formal hedge.

We’ve grown our Purple Beech to be ready for our country’s tough growing conditions, so they’ll be fine in either sun or partial shade. They’ll thrive on almost any well-drained soil, acid or alkaline. However, if you’re planting on very wet sites, then Hornbeam is a similar tree that thrives better in those conditions. Our Purple Beech is perfectly happy in windy areas, and forms a fantastically dense windbreak hedge.

More Information
Hardiness RatingH4
Foliage Colour (Main Interest)Purple
Flower ColourPurple
HabitBushy, Spreading / Branched
Ultimate Height25m
Ultimate Spread25m
Time to Ultimate Height (years)50 Years
Rate of Growth (per year)Average (20-40cm)
Soil MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained
Soil TypeChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral
Skill RatingBeginner
AvailabilityJanuary, February, March, April, November, December
Amount of SunlightFull Sun, Partial Shade
Weather ExposureExposed, Sheltered
AspectNorth-Facing, East-Facing, South-Facing, West-Facing
Delivery Time1 Working Day

Ground Preparation

Plants will not grow where soil contains too little air, insufficient nutrients or where soil moisture is either excessive or insufficient. Pre-planting soil preparation should aim to improve these conditions:

       • Loosen the soil generally to eliminate compaction and improve drainage

       • Weed the planting area (approx. 30cm each side of the trench)

       • Improve soil fertility by using fertiliser, organic matter and lime

       • Ideally, assess the need for lime with a soil pH test

       • Improving the soil for a wide area (2-3m (6½-10ft) around the plant) is best practice

If soils are waterlogged over winter consider installing drainage, or an alternative is to plant on a slight mound, about 25-30cm (10-12in) high and 1m (39in) in diameter. Excess moisture can kill the finer roots, which become blackened and sour smelling. Wet roots are more susceptible to disease, especially Phytophthora.

How to Plant your Tree or Shrub

       • Remove plants from containers or fabric wrapping (some specimen trees specify that the wrapping be left on under the terms of their guarantee)

       • Tease out and spread the roots to get an idea of their spread. Dig a planting hole that is no deeper than the roots, but is up to three times the diameter of the root system.

        If the sides or base of the planting hole are compacted, break the soil up with a fork before planting

       • With container grown plants, the top layers of compost should be scraped away, and the point where the roots flare out should be near the soil surface. 

        Place in the planting hole and refill the planting hole carefully, placing soil between and around all the roots to eliminate air pockets

       • When planting it is very important that the plant is not planted too deep, plant at the same level as it was at the nursery.

        There will be a clear indication on the stem of how deep the roots were in the ground, planting any deeper can cause the stem to rot and the plant to fail.

    How Much Watering to do Once Planted

    One of the most common problems with newly-planted trees and shrubs is drought stress, even during the mildest of our summers the rainfall will not normally replenish the soil with the necessary water the trees need to survive. During the establishment stage it is very important to ensure that the soil around the roots is moist at all times.

    Weeding Advice

    Weeds, lawns and other vegetation intercept water before it reaches the roots of newly planted trees and shrubs. It is best to keep a vegetation-free circle at least 1.2m (4ft) in diameter around the plant for its first three years to help avoid this problem. Keep the circle weed free through hoeing or use of contact or systemic weed killers. Laying mulch over this circle is also helpful, although take care to leave a collar of 10cm (4in) around the woody stems that is free of mulch, to prevent the risk of rotting the tree bark.

    Staking your Plant

    Where possible trees and shrubs should be staked as soon as they are planted, this is to prevent wind rock, and the movement of the roots. Most plants will take a couple of growing seasons to become fully anchored in the soil. The stakes should be checked regularly and any that are damaged or not fully supporting the plant should be replaced.

    Why Buy Bare Root Plants

    Bare root plants are the perfect choice when you are creating a hedge on a budget. This method of planting is the most cost and time efficient, allowing us to pass those savings on to you, and significant discounts are available for buying bare root plants in bulk. Grown outdoors in its basic form all year round - No pot, no peat, no heat - our bare root stock comes with the added assurance that it’s acclimatised to British winters, hardy as nature intended. Grown from seed in rich Herefordshire soil all our bare roots plants are available at varying sizes and ages to fit any hedge development.

    Bare root plants are lifted to order from November until March when they are dormant to reduce the shock of transplanting them. Bare Root hedging is delivered without soil on the roots. this means that you don't have to pay for the weight of the soil as you would with a Root Balled plant, making them more cost effective. We recommend that all Bare Root hedging plants should be planted as soon as possible as the plant is still alive and the roots need to be kept moist.

    If you are unable to immediately plant your bare roots plants, we recommend a number of storage guidelines to ensure they remain healthy out of the ground. Store them in a cool, dry, dark location, making sure they are not exposed to any wind or frost. Do not soak the roots in a bucket of water as they will retain the right amount of moisture needed, you can water them well once they are planted if you are concerned the roots are too dry.

    How we Measure Our Bare Root Plants

    Our plants are usually measured by height - '30-40cm' means a plant is between 30cm and 40cm high measured from soil level to the top of the plant - the roots are not included in the measurement.

    They are then carefully graded by height, batched into bundles of 25 or 10, boxed and dispatched straight to your door within 72 hours of picking to ensure freshness.
    (0/1) 1 Year Old - Hardwood cutting taken from a strong, healthy shoot on a mature plant. Cutting is  grown outdoors for 1 year to develop a healthy root system.
    (1+0) 1 Year Old - 1 year seedling grown at wide spacing. Seedling is undercut (roots are trimmed below the soil) during the growing season to promote a compact and fibrous root system and regulate plant height. This makes it a cheaper specification suitable when planting where weed competition will be less intense, soil is shallow or on exposed windy sites. Give high root to shoot ratio and minimal plant 'check'.
     (1+1) 2 Year Old - Our 1 year old seedlings have been grown in seed beds and then lined out for 1 year. They commonly range from 40-60cms or 60-80cms and is often the best choice and the staple norm. Gives robust plant with fibrous and compact roots.
    (1u1) 2 Year Old - Our 1 year old seedlings are undercut and grown in situ for 1 further year. The effect of this gives a slimmer, straighter plant.
    (1+2) 3 Year Old - Our 1 year old seedlings have been grown in seed beds and then lined out for 2 years. The effect of this gives a stocky, bushier plant.
    (2+1) 3 Year Old - 2 year old plant lined out for a further year. Gives stockier, bushier plant.
    (1+3) 4 Year Old - 1 year old seedling grown in seed bed then lined out for 3 years. Gives stocky, bushier plant.
    (2+2) 4 Year Old - 2 year old plant lined out for 2 further years. Gives stocky, bushier plant.


    Planting your hedging plants at the correct distance is essential for ensuring a great end result. The type of hedge you require will determine the planting style and distance of your plants.

    A single row works well in most garden environments, however a double staggered planting design is great for creating a dense hedge to deter intruders or to create a wind break.

    There are a number of variables that will decide the planting distance of your hedging plants; how vigorous a plant is, its habit, form and spread will all play a role in the final appearance of your hedge. For example: Bare root Yew should not really be planted any closer than 3 plants per metre due to its vast established spread, whereas a tight Box hedge should be planted with 5 plants in a single row.

    Our rough guide of planting distances:

    Plant Height Recommended Planting Density
    Up to 100cm 3-5 per metre for a single row
    Up to 100cm 5-7 per metre for a double row
    100 - 175cm 3 per metre for a single row
    100 - 175cm 5 per metre for a double row
    175cm + 2 per metre for a single row
    175cm + 4 per metre for a double row

    Remember that these planting densities should be used as a guide only.

    Why our RHS plants are better

    Hedge Images


    Down in Herefordshire on the edge of the Malvern Hills, across hundreds of acres of outstanding countryside, you’ll find us hard at work growing the toughest and healthiest plants in the UK. 

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    Hedge Images


    We’ve been working hard for years, planting 100,000 seedlings every day and supplying the strongest hedges to every corner of the UK. How do we do it? Now’s your chance to find out. 

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    Every seed we plant is traceable, and comes from the best possible source for the best possible plants. A good seed deserves good soil, and ours is as  nutritious as it gets - and we’ve got over 220 acres of the stuff! 

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    Hedge Images


     Solar power, green composts, and no nasty chemicals. At every step of the journey, we make sure that what we do doesn’t harm our environment or the local wildlife.

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