Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hornbeam
Carpinus betulus

Family: Betulaceae (beh-tyoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Carpinus (kar-PINE-us) (Info)
Species: betulus (BET-yoo-lus) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
By grafting
By budding

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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to view:

By kropit
Thumbnail #1 of Carpinus betulus by kropit

By palmbob
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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral ptryph On Dec 21, 2014, ptryph from Forestville, CA wrote:

Just saw an avenue of European Hornbeam trees growing at the Urban Tree Farm in Graton (zone 9) CA which is near Santa Rosa. They were barren (Dec) and their shapes are stunning at @ 30 ft each. In the process now of learning more about them but note that they grow here in zone 9.

Positive coriaceous On Mar 15, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This rarely needs pruning if grown as a tree. It tolerates pruning and shearing well, though, and with its dense branching it makes a great hedge. As a hedge, it retains its attractive brown foliage through the winter, especially if pruned in summer.

Adaptable, rarely troubled by pests or diseases, medium growth rate. In Europe, this is often used for hedges and for formal allees.

The cultivar 'Fastigiata' is usually all you'll find at the nursery---not truly fastigiate, but naturally upright and formal in habit. With age, it develops a shape like a wide inverted teardrop.

Positive kropit On Jul 9, 2007, kropit from Bear, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

Hornbeam, European (Carpinus betulus) is low maintenance; keeps tall and slender shape, no pruning required.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 17, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Carpinus betulus EUROPEAN HORNBEAM Dec (z5) (Bon,Bfly)
Producing extremely strong wood (once used in cartwheels, now in chopping blocks) & yel-or fall color (holding its rich brown leaves all winter), this medium-large tree makes an excellent shade tree or hedge. Sun-PSh/Med.

Positive philomel On Oct 5, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

A European native tree, it is also a good hedging plant. The angular growth pattern is interesting when the plant is bare in winter.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Forestville, California
San Anselmo, California
Bear, Delaware
Roslindale, Massachusetts

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