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The common beech is a long-lived tree, and very large, more than 30m (100ft) high, which thrives on lighter soils, especially chalky ones. There are many decorative varieties more suitable for gardens, including 'Dawyck Purple'. This is a smaller, narrow form with layered branches that curve slightly upwards and produce a mass of purple foliage. This tree will stand some shade, but colours better when given a sunny position. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Cultivar: Dawyck Purple
Plant type: Deciduous tree
Foliage colour: Purple
Feature: Autumn colour, Dramatic foliage
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist, Sandy
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: September to November
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