This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The European Beech makes an excellent hedge, and is much used for that purpose both in England and on the Continent, where protection from the cold north wind is needed. Mr. Parsons recommends Purple Beech for ornamental hedges, and no one has a keener perception or a fuller appreciation of the beautiful in trees than he. Like all enthusiasts, however, he has his favorites, and recommends grafted plants only for the purpose, the reason given being that seedlings do not come true to color.
In taking a practical view of the matter I certainly prefer the seedling, it being much more thrifty, better furnished with branches near the ground, and retaining its foliage later in the season than the grafted plant - very desirable qualities in a hedge plant. As to the color, a few in a lot of seedlings would possibly come green, but these need not be selected. That good colored varieties do come from seed, we know to be a fact. They do not, perhaps, retain their purple color so late into the autum as the grafted plant, but that is a slight matter in comparison to the many advantages they possess. The color of the Purple Beech is only highly appreciated in the spring when its dark purple foliage is in striking contrast to the pale green of that season. It is quite overshadowed in the autumn by the brilliantly colored foliage of other trees.