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Copper beech

turmericturmeric Posts: 822
Whilst on a walk today my OH and I noticed that copper beech 'hedges' were still in full leaf (albeit copper coloured) but the beech 'trees' maybe had only one or two copper coloured leaves still clinging on.  Are they different varieties or does the act of clipping the hedges make the leaves stay on somehow?


  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,701
    Yes you are correct turmeric. The trees lose their leaves and hedges keep theirs because they have been trimed. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243
    Above around ten to twelve feet, it's rare for them to hang onto much foliage, so trees are bare, and hedges aren't  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • turmericturmeric Posts: 822
    So is it the act of trimming or the fact that the trees are higher up?  And if it's the act of trimming why does it make the plant hold onto its leaves?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243
    It's just the fact that they're smaller and it's easier for them to hold onto foliage. It's just how they grow. I don't know the ins and outs of it though. Possibly in the same way that larger specimens of any shrub or tree can struggle in dry conditions because there isn't enough moisture reaching higher foliage for it to stay hydrated. Or like buds on rhododendrons or camellias - they need enough water for them to form.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • turmericturmeric Posts: 822
    Ok, thanks Fairygirl and Uff.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,391
    Beech and hornbeam hedges have a tendency to keep their leaves on newish growth. 
    If you have such a hedge and want it to keep a lot of leaves over winter you should trim it in mid August. This will encourage it to put on lots of new growth which will be retained through the winter. 

    “… To maintain an established beech hedgerow, the second week of August (Northern Hemisphere) is the best time to prune. Beech hedges will produce a flush of new leaves in response to the trimming. This foliage will remain on the beech hedgerow plants for the winter. …”
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,214
    If you have another look on your walk, you will notice that many baby beech trees still have their leaves, too, not just the trimmed ones.
  • turmericturmeric Posts: 822
    Thanks Posy and Dove.  Every day's a school day! :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,243
    We can prune beech here well into September without a problem. I often did my Dad's hedge at that time. I assume the climate makes a difference.
    Frost never bothers them, even though we often get them from October onwards, but the constant dampness probably helps a good bit with foliage retention.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JGCCJGCC Posts: 2
    Whilst on teh topic of copper beech hedges does anyone knwo if you should feed them and if so what is best ?
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