Smart and Unselfish Planting


I was still in high school when I convinced my Dad to buy a Tricolor Beech for our new poolside landscape. It became the landscape All Star, truly. We’ve long since moved from the property in Massachusetts, but every chance I get I drive by and check on how the tree is growing. Still an All Star and will be for generations.

Tricolor Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Roseo Marginata’) is an unforgettable shade tree with striking variegated leaves, a sure thing for the Bower & Branch Top 10 Small Shade trees. The leaves are remarkable, with quiet variegation and graceful colors. Many variegated trees can be almost disruptive in the landscape, loud and distractingly bright. Tricolor becomes part of the landscape, quietly and softly adding to its beauty. Partial summer shade also helps keep the green, pink and white foliage vibrant.


They’re not common trees in today’s gardens. Mostly, I suppose, because they’re slow growing and for that reason, more expensive. They can reach 40 feet tall and 25-30 feet wide, but this is small compared to other Beech trees that can reach up to 80 feet tall and almost as wide. Growing can be difficult and slow when they are young on the nursery, but once established in your landscape, they are very carefree.

Bower & Branch grows Tricolor Beech, but because of the slow growth, we have a limited number available each year. We simply cannot grow enough, fast enough to get Tricolor in everyone’s yards. Perhaps this is another reason they’re so special and unique. See for yourself with our video of the Tricolor in the landscape.

Beeches are noble legacy trees, living for hundreds of years. While Tricolor Beech is much smaller than other Beech types, they still live a long life, with no serious pest or disease issues and they’re perfect for smaller spaces, patio shade and poolside landscapes. The one I planted as a young man is already over 40 years old and still being enjoyed daily. And coincidentally, my current good tree neighbors have an outstanding specimen I get to enjoy right along with them.

Tricolor Beech is this kind of tree—a sharing tree that everyone enjoys for generations to come. It’s smart and unselfish planting decisions like these that create long-term impact and value. Find yours online this winter through our Exclusive Green Friday Collection (Jan-Mar only) at!

Don Signature