Determine the beech over the leaves

Determine the beech over the leaves

Beech leaves are green

Despite the name red beech, the leaves of the tree are green. The red in the name indicates the reddish color of the wood. The buds and new shoots also have a reddish color.

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The leaves of the common beech have the following characteristics:

  • Leaf shape: egg-shaped, oval. Veined leaves, slightly wavy
  • Leaf margin: only slightly serrated
  • Sheet size: 5 - 11 cm long, 3 - 8 cm wide
  • Leaf arrangement: alternate
  • Leaf shoots: from March
  • Autumn color: orange-red

Only copper beeches have red leaves

If you come across a beech with red, dark red or green-red foliage on the way, it is a copper beech (Fagus sylvatica f. Purpurea). It is also called purple beech because of its striking leaves.

The copper beech is a mutation of the common beech. In their leaves there is a very high proportion of red leaf pigments that turn the foliage red.

In order for the leaves of a copper beech to shine brightly in color, the tree needs a location that is as sunny as possible.

Decorative autumn colors of the beech leaves

In addition to being easy to cut, the color of the autumn leaves of the red beech is one reason for its popularity.

The leaves turn from green to a bright orange-red. The color is most intense in mid-November, before the leaves dry up and turn brown.

European beech leaves hang on the tree during winter

European beeches are deciduous trees. In contrast to other deciduous trees, they do not lose their foliage in autumn. Most of the leaves get stuck during winter. They are dry and brown in color.

The old leaves only fall off when the new beech shoots. They are then very thin and can be simply rubbed with your fingers.

You should leave the fallen leaves under the beech. There it forms a good protection against the drying out of the soil. The leaves also release nutrients. But you can only leave healthy foliage in the garden without pests or diseases.

Abnormalities on the leaves of the European beech

If the leaves of the European beech change color, roll up or wilt prematurely, diseases, pests or a lack of nutrients may be present. Sometimes it's just too damp or too wet.

If the leaves are very light, the common beech lacks iron. An iron-based fertilizer improves the soil.

Fungal diseases and pests make themselves felt through various symptoms. Examine the leaves carefully and, if infested, cut off all affected parts generously.


The leaves of the hornbeam are similar in shape to those of the common beech. But they differ in size and the heavily sawn edge. Hornbeam leaves also look a bit older when rubbed with your fingers.