Beech, Copper

The Copper beech, also known as purple beech, is a broadleaved deciduous tree, that can grow to a height of more than 40m, and may live for 300 years, although 200 years may be more typical.

The bark is smooth, thin and grey, often with slight horizontal etchings. Twigs are slender and grey but not straight – their shape resembles a zig-zag. Torpedo-shaped leaf buds are coppery and up to 2cm in length, with a distinctive criss-cross pattern.

 

Photo supplied by: Alan Payne

Common Name:
Copper Beech

Scentific Name:
Fagus sylvatica purpurea

Tree No.:
187

Location:
D7

Deep purple in the spring, turning to a coppery hue in the autumn, oval and fringed with silky brown hairs.

Credit: Alan Payne

 

 

Monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers grow on the same tree. In April and May the copper beech’s tassel-like male catkins hang from long stalks at the end of twigs, while female flowers grow in pairs, surrounded by a cup.

Credit: This could be your image

 

Once wind-pollinated, this cup becomes woody and encloses one or two reddish brown beech nuts.

Credit: This could be your image

Copper beech is a mutation of the European Beech, first noticed in the Possenwald forest near the town of Sondershausen in Germany. Copper beech doesn’t occur naturally in the UK, but is planted in urban and rural areas as an ornamental tree for its distinctive purple leaves. It has several habitat requirements, including a humid atmosphere and well-drained soil. .

As with common beech, the foliage of copper beech is eaten by the caterpillars of moths. The seeds are eaten by rodents, squirrels and birds. Because beech trees live for so long they provide habitats for many deadwood specialists such as hole-nesting birds and wood-boring insects. The bark is often home to fungi, mosses and lichens.

Like common beech, copper beech timber can be used for a variety of purposes, including fuel, furniture, cooking utensils, tool handles and sports equipment. The wood burns well and was traditionally used to smoke herring. The edible nuts, or masts, were once used to feed pigs, and in France they are still sometimes roasted and used as a coffee substitute.

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Braintree & Bocking Public Gardens,
43 Bocking End,
Braintree,
CM7 9AE.

Open 9:00 to 4:00pm – January, February.
Open 9:00 to 6:00pm – March.
Open 9:00 to 7:00pm – April.
Open 9:00 to 8:00pm – May, June, July, August.
Open 9:00 to 7:00pm – September.
Open 9:00 to 6:00pm – October.
Open 9:00 to 4:00pm – November December.

Note – The gates are locked at dusk.
Dusk is subject to seasonal variation, so closing times may not be exactly to the schedule, at the transitions.

No dogs allowed in the gardens.
No alcohol to be consumed in the gardens.
No riding of cycles or scooters in the gardens.

General Enquiries
Phone: 01376 773066
Email: info@braintreeandbockinggardens.co.uk

Tennis Enquiries
Phone: 01376 773070
Email: tennis@braintreeandbockinggardens.co.uk

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Registered Charity Number 212989

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Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens

Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens

We provide, maintain and preserve these unique and beautiful gardens as a community green space.

⚠️Please be aware that we have contractors C J Yates Construction Ltd starting on some much needed pathway repairs in the gardens over the next couple of days. ⚠️There will be barriers put in place around the repair areas in numerous points through out the gardens, whilst we try to have the most needed repairs done.One gate to the garden of Coffee House in the Gardens will be closed off, however you can still enter the coffee shop as normal, and the coffee shop garden through the first side gate.Please use caution if you are visiting the gardens this week. Many thanks. ... See MoreSee Less
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