Tree Information



Wet Soil: Low

Dry Soil: Medium

Lime: Medium

The beech tree has long been cherished by landscapers through the ages, spawning a variety of cultivars boasting diverse shapes and hues. The ‘Dawyck Purple’ traces its roots to the Trompenburg Arboretum in Holland, where it was discovered in the summer of 1973. Dick Van Hoey Smith, the Arboretum’s Director, recognised the unique potential of the Dawyck variant. During a mast year, when the beech tree produces an abundance of nuts, Smith gathered numerous seeds. Out of over 100 seedlings, four had characteristics of a red-leaved beech, eventually giving rise to the distinctive purple-leaved variety we know as ‘Dawyck Purple’. Originated at the same time as ‘Dawyck Gold’ but in this case the pollen parent was a purple beech, narrower and not as dense as the gold.

This tree exhibits a strikingly tall, tight pyramidal canopy that can grow beyond 20m in height. Despite its commanding presence, it maintains a modest width, rarely exceeding 3m. This compact profile lends itself to a myriad of applications, from shading narrow medians to creating captivating landscape designs. It serves as an ideal focal point for corporate headquarters and business parks aiming for a structured and meticulous landscape aesthetic.

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10m high x 3m wide after 25 years


A great specimen tree but also striking when used as a small group or planted down an avenue.


A narrowly columnar to tight pyramidal canopy that can reach 20m+. Although a dominant feature, it retains its width never developing more than 3m wide.


In spring, long buds unfold crimson red leaves. These eventually brighten to a purple with deep, rigid veins. Leaves are compactly overlapped within the trees canopy. Come autumn, leaves will mature to browns and yellows and eventually crinkle and dry as winter arrives. Throughout this season, the leaves will remain on the branches, especially in sheltered locations.


Thrives in fertile soil that is well-drained, and not excessively wet.

Available As:

Semi-Mature, Super Semi-Mature

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