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Carpinus betulus

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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



Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Forestville, California

San Anselmo, California

Bear, Delaware

Champaign, Illinois

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Perry, Ohio

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 16, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This European Hornbeam is a handsome high quality small tree that has dark green leaves and smooth dark gray bark. Landscape architects use this species and its columnar cultivars occasionally in Midwestern and Eastern landscapes. It is more adaptable to harder landscape conditions than the American Hornbeam. The American species has lighter green foliage, light gray smooth bark, and a much better yellow to orange to red fall color. The European fall color is usually average yellow or yellow-brown.


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.


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.


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.


On Mar 17, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) 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.


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.