Which Beech to Choose? Dawyck Purple or Red Obelisk



We are struggling to choose between the Dawyck Purple or Red Obelisk for our north facing fence. 6-8 hours of sun. We are not fussy on the privacy we just want something to contrast the river birch in the corner of the yard. Is there a clear winner or are either good? Thank you.


Either of these specimens would be lovely in your garden.  Your main considerations might be hardiness and growth rate.  There is conflicting information available about both these attributes, so the nursery where your tree is grown will likely be the most helpful in choosing the best option for your local conditions.  A survey of local nurseries shows Red Obelisk as being hardy to Zone 4, with Dawyck Purple less so – to Zone 6 (this is Toronto’s hardiness zone).  Depending upon where you are located, this may be an important consideration.  Neither cultivar is described as fast-growing, but medium to slow.  If columnar growth habit is one of your prime considerations, Purple Dawyck’s silhouette is narrower than Red Obelisk.  Both varieties prefer full sun, so either should be fine in your garden.  As far as visual interest goes, both would be very satisfying in all seasons with their spectacular foliage and their silvery bark.   In the end, this is mostly an aesthetic decision – either would be lovely juxtaposed against your river birch.


August 28, 2021