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Plant Profile: European Weeping Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula’)

Beech European Weeping Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula' 2There are few trees that can match the beauty of the European weeping beech. In summer the simple, glossy dark green leaves form a dense canopy from the top of the tree to the ground. The tree grows slowly but attains a huge size at maturity and is beautiful long before that. This is not a tree for a small garden but can be a real eye catcher as a specimen tree in a large space. Look for it in arboretums; it is well worth the search. (See also American Beech)

Type: Weeping deciduous tree.

Outstanding Features: Weeping form especially attractive in winter; reddish bronze to yellow autumn coloration; leaves persist in winter.

Form: Broad pyramid.

Growth Rate: Slow-moderate.

Bloom: April-May (insignificant).

Size: 50-60’ H x 40-50’ W.

Light: Full sun.

Soil: moist, well-drained, acidic soil; does not like excessively wet soil.

Hardiness: Zones 4-7.

Care: Stake new plant until it is 10 tall; cut off side branches if narrow tree desired; prune in early summer or fall.

Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to powdery mildew, aphids, canker, and beech bark disease but these are not usually a problem.

Propagation: cuttings or seeds.

Comments: Individual specimens are highly variable; large trees may be difficult to transplant.

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