Red Obelisk Beech

Botanical Name: Fagus sylvatica ‘Red Obelisk’

Alternate Name: Red Obelisk European Beech

The Red Obelisk Beech is a cultivar of the European Beech tree, Fagus sylvatica. It makes a statement in a landscape with its bright red-purple foliage and narrow form. It has a low canopy, with the branching starting just 1 foot above the ground and is not suitable for planting under power lines.

Fagus sylvatica ‘Red Obelisk’ makes a wonderful screen between properties or can be planted as a lawn or a specimen tree, where its beauty can be appreciated. Plant as a foundation tree against a light colored house for full effect. Its size makes it perfect for smaller landscapes. This tree grows to a height of 35-40 feet and has a spread of 8-10 feet. It can live to be 100 years old.

The Red Obelisk Beech tree has handsome, smooth gray bark, typical of the Fagus genus. Even in winter without its leaves, this unusual tree will create interesting structure in the garden. The leaves of Fagus sylvatica ‘Red Obelisk’ emerge in the spring, crinkled and maroon in color. The leaves have prominent veins and are elliptical with wavy margins. The fall color is a beautiful copper bronze color.

This beech tree will not thrive in wet, poorly drained soils. It is drought tolerant – once established, it only needs occasional water. The Red Obelisk Beech is also somewhat tolerant of pollution. It rarely needs pruning to keep its shape. No serious disease or insect problems.


Height: 35-40 ft.

Width: 8-10 ft.

Shape: Columnar

Flower Color: Yellowish-green

Flowering Time: March-May

Fall Color: Copper bronze

Features: Attractive color, interesting narrow, columnar form, good fall color

Exposure: Full Sun to Part Shade

Watering: Moderate & Regular

Soil: Prefers rich, moist, and well-drained soils. Tolerant of a wide range of soil pH and soil types, as long as drainage is good.

Growth Rate: Slow

USDA Zones: 4-7

Uses: Specimen tree, hedge/screening tree, foundation tree, lawn tree, park tree

Similar trees: Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck Purple' (Dawyck Purple Beech), Fagus sylvatica 'Rivers Purple' (River’s Purple Beech), Fagus sylvatica 'Purple Fountain' (Purple Fountain Beech)