C09: Copper Beech, Fagus sylvatica var purpurea

The Beech is native to southern Britain and the Midlands and planted further north. It can grow to 40 m and old trees have huge domed much branched crowns on a straight bole. The bark smooth, silver grey, often wrinkling. Younger and lower branches often grow in one plane and the bods are sharply pointed and long. Summer rainfall determines the number of leaves the following year and seed is produced in large numbers every few years, called mast years. It is a dominant and climax tree on chalk and well drained sands. The copper form certainly appeared in Europe before 1700.

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