The Copper Beech Bonsai Tree, scientific name Fagus sylvatica ‘purpurea’, is native to Europe. It is a variety of other popular tree European Beech.
Cooper Beech looks a lot like European Beech except for the leaves that are copper in color. Leaves turn to a bronzy green in the summer heat and red brown in the fall remaining on the tree until the spring.
This is a hardy tree that should be grown outdoors. The ability to take radical pruning makes this tree perfect for bonsai.
Scientific name: Fagus sylvatica ‘purpurea’
Common Names: Beech Tree, Purple Beech, Copper Beech
Origin: Native to Europe.
Appearance: It is a deciduous tree with a smooth gray trunk, that looks like an elephant skin, and erect branches covered with simple, wavy, oval leaves. Leaves change color throughout the season, from shining purple or copper color, to bronzy-green during summer months, to red-brown in the fall.
They hang on the tree until the spring, adding to the tree’s seasonal interest. It has brown, slender, long, pointed, buds like rolled cigars.
Flowering: Older trees produce small catkins which appear shortly after the leaves in spring.
Outdoor/Indoor Use: Outdoor.
Light Requirements: It grows well in full sun or partial shade. Protect it from hot summer sun by keeping your tree in a semi-shade.
Water Requirements: Requires daily watering during the growing season. Needs less water during winter months. Make sure the soil never dries out completely.
Pruning/Training: In early summer pinch shoots back to two nodes. I recommend shaping it by pruning when possible. If you are applying wiring, do it during summer months.
After a few months carefully remove the wires. Never remove all the leaves during growing season. Also, avoid leaf pruning after reporting the bonsai. Drastic root pruning should be done in the fall.
Bonsai Style: Twin-trunk, triple-trunk, curved, straight, clump, group, raft.
Fertilizing: Feed it with well balanced fertilizer one month after the buds open. Apply fertilizer once every two weeks during the growing season.
Repotting: Should be repotted every two to five years depending on root growth and age. Repot during spring before leaves open.
Hardiness: This bonsai should be protected from freezing temperatures, especially when young. Grows well in USDA Zone 3-8. American Beech variety is the most hardy, Japanese Beech variety is the least.
Insects and Diseases: Usually problem free but can be troubled by leaf scorch, scales, bark beetles, and aphids. Several fungi can cause leaf spots but are generally not serious.
Propagation: By seeds, grafting, and cuttings.