moving a tricolor beech

Asked October 3, 2018, 4:53 PM EDT

I planted a 10' tricolor beech a couple of years ago. It doesn't seem to like its location. I think it is getting too much sun and there are no trees around it so it doesn't get much shade. It doesn't have any pink color and the leaves look brown most of the time. I think there are insects eating the leaves as well. I would like to move it to a new location. Do you think I can? Thanks, jackie

Woodford County Kentucky

1 Response

The tricolor European beech likes to be in filtered sunlight. Late afternoon sunlight in summer is especially harmful. The intense sunlight and heat is what is causing the non-green portions of the foliage to turn brown. It is probably these dry, brown portions of the foliage that have fallen out of the leaf giving it the appearance that something is eating the foliage.

Beech can be transplanted at this size. It would be better to wait until after all of the leaves have fallen in a couple of weeks. A rule of thumb on the size of the soilball is that it should be 18 inches in diameter plus an additional 1 foot for every 1-inch of trunk diameter. After the ball has been dug, it should be wrapped in burlap to keep it from falling apart. A soil ball that is too large will be too heavy to carry. A soilball that is too small is likely to result in the tree declining or losing its central leader and becoming a beech bush.