Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea Pendula' - Weeping Purpleleaf European Beech
Family - Fagaceae
Size - Broad mushroomed shape with pendulous branches which arch from its trunk and apex. Slow growing to about 10 feet at most; broadens as it gets older. After 13 years, this tree is only about 5 1/2 feet tall. It was planted in 1990 as a 1 inch caliper size. It is approximately 6 inches in caliper in 2003. Winter habit December 2000.
Foliage - Alternate, simple, 3 to 4 inches long by about half that width. Foliages emerges a deep green in the spring and darkens to a deep purple or burgandy as the season progresses. At times, the foliage almost becomes black it is so dark. Fall color
Flower/Fruit/Seed - Nothing of ornamental importance.
Bark - Smooth and gray on European Beech in general. On this cultivar it is hidden by the foliage and pendulous branches for the most part.
Pests and Diseases - Japanese Beetles seem to be its only pest but they only cause minor damage. Other than this it is pest and disease free.
Landscape Use - Specimen or accent tree. Would work well in the small garden because of its limited size and unusual shape. Foliage and shape could provide a nice contrast with other upright, background plants such as Chamaecyparis.
Performance - 9 Is pretty much limited to the small commercial or residential garden because of its size and form. Can be somewhat slow to establish, but once it does it tolerates heat and drought extremely well contrary to some texts for this area. I originally felt the usefulness of European Beech would be very limited here in North Alabama, but I think it has a little wider range than what is generally expected. Can be sited in full sun without any physiological stresses. I feel this plant and most European Beeches (except 'Rosea Marginata, aka 'Tricolor) could be used into the southern range of zone 7. Hardy to zone 4