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Tri Color Beech - Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata'


Tri Color Beech

Tri Color Beech

Photo © Wikimedia Aha

Overview of Tri Color Beech:

Tri color beech is a striking tree that you won't soon forget. It is often used as a specimen tree due to its variegated leaves that may come in many shades of green, pink, and white. They later turn copper in the fall.

Latin name:

Fagus sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata' (also may be listed under 'Tricolor' and 'Purpurea Tricolor')

Common Names:

Tri color beech, tri-colored European beech, Roseomarginata European beech

USDA Hardiness Zones:

Zones 4-7

Size & Shape of Tri Color Beech:

Tri color beech slowly grows to 24-40' tall and 30' wide (though it is often smaller).

The form is a broad, rounded pyramid.


Plant tri color beech in part shade - young trees are able to tolerate full shade. May be planted in full sun, but the foliage will sometimes burn if the sun is hot.

Foliage/ Flowers/Fruit of Tri Color Beech:

Leaves are variegated and come in many variations of green, pink, and white. They turn copper in the fall. Leaves are wavy, oval, 4" long and 2" wide.

Tri color beech has both male and female flowers on the same tree. They usually appear April-May and are not very showy.

Seeds are small tri-cornered nuts - commonly known as beechnuts.

Additional Tri Color Beech Facts:

Be careful - the beechnuts are mildly toxic, so do not eat many of them at once. The European beechnuts are bitter, unlike the sweet American beechnuts.

Design Tips For Tri Color Beech:

This tree is very slow growing, so keep that in mind when designing your garden.

Perfect for use as a specimen tree, or a shade tree in time.

Grass and other plants will not grow well under the tri color beech due to its fibrous root system.

Growing Tips For Tri Color Beech:

Prefers well-drained, moist, and slightly acidic soil, though it is quite tolerant of a wide range of soils. Does not do well in waterlogged soils.

Take extra care if planting in the fall as tri color beech is more sensitive to being transplanted at that time.

Since it grows slowly, water regularly for the first two years to establish the root system.

Tri color beech is intolerant of salt in soil or water.

Propagation is through grafting.


Tri color beech can be planted close and pruned to become a hedge, as it tolerates pruning well.

Do not prune until it has become established, which will take 1-2 years.

Pests & Diseases of Tri Color Beech:

Prone to scorched leaves if not sheltered from the hot sun or dry winds.

Some caterpillars feed on beech leaves. Aphids will cause sticky, dripping honeydew.

Diseases include canker, powdery mildew, and beech blight.

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