Answer: It sounds like the buds may have suffered winter damage, although it's too early to tell. Beech trees like lots of moisture but not soggy soil so make sure the area drains well, especially in the winter time when the tree is dormant. I'd give the tree a little more time to adjust to its planting site before giving up on it. Sometimes trees need to go through all 4 seasons before they're fully established. In the meantime, wait and watch; prune off anything obviously dead and water deeply once each week during the growing season. I think your beech will outgrow its awkward stage and become a realy beauty with time.
Best wishes with your landscape!
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