Hornbeam
Carpinus betulus

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

Category:

Trees

Height:

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Deciduous

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:

Non-patented

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

Regional

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

Forestville, California

San Anselmo, California

Bear, Delaware

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Gardeners' Notes:

3
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

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

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

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

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

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.