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I have a sapling from my parents' copper beech that I dug up from their yard. I planted it in our yard about 3 years ago. It now is about 9" tall and I wonder if I should prune it to force branching. It has about a dozen leaves and appears healthy.

If it should be pruned, where do I cut it? Below or above leaves?

  • Please add a photo as it may help people say how to prune it, not just if it should be pruned. Welcome to the site! – Niall C. May 16 '15 at 17:45
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Copper beeches (Fagus sylvatica Purpurea) are simply reddish varieties of the European or common beech (Fagus sylvatica).

These trees grow happily and abundantly in many European forests, for example right where I live, in the Black Forest in Germany. In a few decades the spindly saplings can grow into large, majestic trees - without any pruning.

So no, there is no need to prune if you plan to let nature take its course.

Should you have specific plans as far as future shape is concerned, you may prune if required. My gut feeling, however, would be to simply let it grow for a few more years before taking any action (if you intend to cut).

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