Friday, May 26, 2006

Tri-Color Beech Tree

Talk about an amazing tree! Allow me to introduce you to the tri-color beech (tricolor, tricolour, tri-colour), or tri-color European beech, scientifically referred to as Fagus sylvatica Roseomarginata.

Tri-color beeches can come in shades of red, pink, purple, white, and green, depending upon the specimen. Compare that with the final image of a solid green leaf from an American beech that we explored earlier. I love the delicate fuzzy hairs on these leaves!

The tri-color beech tree you see in today’s post has a dark red/purple, a lighter red/brown, and a white shade which isn’t visible in these images. According to my reading, the best way to ensure that all the colors show up on your tri-color beech tree is not to baby it. This tree needs stress and hardship in order to show its truest and most beautiful colors. If a tri-color beech tree is overfed and given too much care and attention, it will lose the variegation in the leaves, and fade into a single reddish color.

I like this tree as an analogy for our own lives. If all we ever did was sit happily sucking up life and water and nourishment that was carefully fed to us each day, never wanting for anything, we would fade into a monochromatic life. Sure, we might be healthy and alive, but until we face hardships, until we overcome the insurmountable, take on life’s challenges, and reach for what we need, the world will not see our true colors and beauty in their complete and total rainbow.


  1. Well said. :)

  2. Spring is in full swing, I see. I love your photographs, JLB.

  3. This must be a very unusual tree, with those colors. Although brown is associated with fall, I see spring here, with this bright pink flowing through the light...

  4. Beautiful flowers, greats shots

  5. What a fantastic burst of color amongst the green! Have yourself a wonderful weekend, too.

  6. Hi JLB,
    Just wanted to add for entries further down that it's pretty good when you throw in indoor pictures as well. Because it gives an equal pleasant balance to your blog somehow. Makes your photography look multi-layered. And one straightaway gets the clear impression from your layouts, that there is an immense depth to viewing botany.
    Also, you know the 3 pix on top here especially with the light blue skies - looks like something straight out of a Laura Ashley boutique with its enticing floral prints. regards as always

  7. Hi, JLB!

    What a great analogy - I love it. It's comforting to know that trees, like people, show their true colors under stress and struggle, and can become all the more beautiful for it.

    As ever, your pics are gorgeous!


  8. Great tree! I just saw one today at a nursery and I have to have it. Your pics really show how beautiful this tree is. I was looking for a picture to show my wife. Thanks.

  9. Greetings Adrian! I'm so glad that you liked the pictures. I hope that you both enjoy your new tree!

  10. Hello Anonymous,

    Thank you for visiting Arboreality!

    The process you've observed is referred to as "leaf marcescence" and it is very common in beeches (especially young ones). While scientists are not entirely sure why this occurs, it appears to be a healthy phenomenon.

    Caroline Brown recently wrote an excellent post on leaf marcescence on her blog Earth Friendly Gardening. You can find it here:

    Science lesson: marcescent leaves


  11. My tri-color beech is uniformly one colour...dark red/

    Don't think that I have babied it... but can I "unbaby it" and get the pink edges on the leaves somehow?

  12. I have just purchased a Tri-Color Beech and want to know if there is anything I should know before planting it other than the regular info of twice the size hole as the root ball, cutting back 1/2" of root on the ball and 1" on the bottom, amending the soil with Peat Moss and/or compost.

    Thank you,
    Galloway, Ohio


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.