Hornbeam trees (Carpinus Betula)
Hornbeam trees or hedging (Carpinus Betula) is native to Europe and Asia Minor, including southern Britain. It grows well on clay forming a rounded crown. Leaves turn in autumn to orange, russet and gold.
It is superficially like beech but is more tolerant of frost and poor ground. The wood is white, hard and heavy, but not flexible. It has few modern uses but it was formerly much sought after, not least for fuel because of its high calorific value.
As a tree, hornbeam is still highly valued. It will grow on stiff clays, thin gravels and lime rich soils. Ornamental hedges, mazes and pleached avenues are increasingly being reinstated.
PRUNING - Recommend pruning hornbeam hedging in September and best to use secateurs or good old fashioned shears so as to not damage the leaves that may initially turn brown. This would benefit and thicken up the hedge.
Eventual height 15 meter and similar width
Very soil adaptable as long as the soil is well-drained. Full sun is best. Can tolerate urban conditions and pollution.
Good hedging plant, Tolerates shade, retains some leaves through winter.