In our property in England we have several mature beech trees (100' tall, 50+ years old). All but one are the common green beech and these fruit quite prolifically - the ground is absolutely covered right now.

Our one copper beech - also very large and seemingly in great health - does not seem to produce any nuts that I can see, the ground underneath it is bare. We get beech trees growing wild but only the green kind.

I'm wondering why this would be? Do copper beeches propagate differently? Or maybe fruit later in the year?

  • I bet squirrels in your neighbourhood would like to know too! :)
    – kevinskio
    Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 18:57
  • 1
    @kevinskio they seem quite happy with the ones from the regular trees!
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 20:13
  • While I think alphazero is possibly right, do you fertilize it at all? Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 5:18

1 Answer 1


Copper beech, like "normal" beech trees, produce both male and female flowers on the same tree.

However the female flowers on any particular tree mature before the male flowers, which reduces the chance of self-pollination. The flowers are wind-pollinated.

So I guess the problem is that you have the only copper beech tree or hedge in your neighborhood.

  • So does this mean green/purple beeches are not pollination partners?
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 8:38
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    Almost all copper beeches in the world are believed to be descendants of one mutant beech tree discovered in Germany in 1690. They have a separate botanical name (Fagus sylvatica purpurea) but they can hybridize with normal beech trees. However if your copper beech flowers earlier or later than the other beech trees, there will be nothing to pollinate it.
    – alephzero
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 21:23

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