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Carpinus betulus - Hornbeam

Carpinus betulus is a native tree found mainly in south and east Britain. It clips well making it ideal for hedging and pleaching. In autumn the leaves turn golden yellow and it will hold some leaf during winter. Tolerance of poor planting conditions make it an extremely useful plant.

In Old English, horn-beam meant hard tree. The wood has been used for cart wheels, chopping blocks, mallets and piano parts.

Carpinus betulus is available from Deepdale as a standard tree, feathered plant, clipped hedging unit, pleached or box head and in other forms.

FACT: It is thought that the maze at Hampton Court was originally planted with Hornbeam.
FACT: Hornbeam makes valuable firewood as it burns slowly and is hot enough to smelt iron.

Plant Profile

Name: Carpinus betulus

Common Name: Hornbeam

Family: Betulaceae

Height: up to 25m

Leaves: Green, ribbed leaves with a fine toothed edge turning yellow in autumn.

Bark: Grey and smooth becoming fluted or muscular with age.

Flower: Catkins appear after leaves

Fruit: Female flowers develop into winged seeds / keys

Habit: Broadly conical.

Carpinus betulus info sheet