European beech tree in a pot


Our European Beech tree was planted last year in a pot( 23″ h x 20″ accross-square). It is on an open terrace facing North East with lots of wind from Lake Ontario. We are on the 8th floor( top storey of condo)The tree started budding in the spring, but is not still leafing out. It gets morning sun for at leastg 6 hours a dayThe trunk diameter is 1.5 ” and I did fertilise this spring. When I scratch the stem it is still green and the pot does have drainage holes. We did burlap and mulch it over the winter. What can we do to help it bloom?
We planted the same tree in the same pot on the south west corner and it has leafed out.
the tree is about 7′ tall and it has not grown since last year?
Do you have any advice to help this tree survive?
This is my 2nd time asking about thed tree and hope that I have supplied all the relevant information.
Thank You very much.


European beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) are large, majestic trees. These trees can grow to over 50 feet tall, so they are not ideal container plants. A tree of this size is going to become root bound very quickly. The root zone of the European beech should extend 2-4x beyond the edge of their branches, and to a depth of between 3-7 feet.

European beech trees prefer full sun — it sounds like you have your tree in a partial shade location since you mentioned that it only gets sun in the morning. This may explain why the other tree of the same variety has grown more and leafed out ahead of the tree in question. These trees can be slow to leaf out. If you have scratched the bark and found green underneath, the tree is likely fine. From the photo you shared, it does not appear that the tree is suffering from any problems including insects or infectious diseases.

You may want to consider alternative plants for your rooftop garden that are more suitable for planting in containers, such as shrubs. The Toronto Master Gardeners have several guides that may be of help to choose an alternative:

Gardening with Native Shrubs: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide – Toronto Master Gardeners

Ornamental Shrubs for Various Light Conditions: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide – Toronto Master Gardeners

Container Gardening: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide – Toronto Master Gardeners


You can also read more about the European beech tree at the following links:

European Beech Tree on the Tree Guide at

How to grow beech / RHS Gardening (

European Beech (