One day I was going to visit the garden of one of my customers. I was told that the garden was small with lots of roses. When I arrived at her home, there in her front yard was the most spectacular tree that I had ever seen. From the distance it looked like a large pink dogwood in full flower until you got up close to it. I knew that I wanted that tree in my garden! The tree was a Tri Color Beech or Fagus Sylvatica 'Roseo-Marginata'. This tree is used as a specimen tree due to its variegated leaves of pink, green and white which turn to a copper color in the fall. It grows in Zones 4-7 and can grow to a height of 24-40 feet tall. When planting a Tri Color Beech, plant young trees in part shade. This tree can take full sun, but you may burn the leaves depending on your zone. Several things to remember about this tree is that it is a slow grower and has a fibrous root system. Some plants and grass will not grow well under a mature Tri Color Beech. It prefers well-drained soil that is slightly moist and slightly acidic, but it will tolerate a wide range of soil types. To establish a new tree, remember to water it regularly for the first two years. Tri Color Beech trees do produce beechnuts which are mildly toxic. You may have to shop around for this tree because it is not always available at all nurseries. The Tri Color Beech is a beautiful tree and I did find one for my garden. It was small, but worth the price. I know it is a slow grower and I just hope that I live long enough to see it reach it's full mature size!
The Creative Gardener
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