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This lovely Copper beech is situated comfortably next to both Woodstock and Reed’s main drive. Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea is one of many cultivars of the European beech, a common ornamental tree planted throughout much of the United States and Europe, although its native range actually extends from southern Sweden to northern Sicily. Also known as the Purple beech for the color of its foliage, this tree sports early-season maroon leaves that turn dark green by midsummer.
Interestingly, the Copper beech does not always lose its leaves in the fall. Its foliage may remain present until the spring in a process known as marescence. This is especially common in young trees but often persists in the lower branches of mature individuals as well. The Copper beech is also notable for the “elephant-like” texture of its light gray bark, which often takes on a gnarled, weathered appearance even early in life.