Tree & Hedge Company

Hornbeam

Carpinus betulus

A treasured British hedge, traditionally used in historic gardens, hardy, undemanding, fast-growing and native tolerant of demanding locations.

Soil types
Likes well-drained Chalk, clay sandy and loam soils
Location
Likes full sun to shade
Annual growth rate
Annual growth fast 30-60cm
Strengths
Grows in most situations and good as a wind barrier
Situations
Ideal for formal hedges and high screen hedges
Roots
Dense cordate sensitive to compaction and floods
Formal hedge pruning
Prune twice during the growing season and always at the end of summer
Animals
Suitable for livestock or horse enclosures

Hornbeam hedges are classic, truly outstanding as tight clipped internal formal garden hedges or high boundary screens. Hornbeam are proficient when growing in difficult and demanding situations, exceptionally good in moist, heavy soils and will grow in virtually any soil type.

Fresh, ovoid, 7-12cm bright-green serrated leaves, appear in early spring followed by yellow catkins. Although widely used for hedging, hornbeam also has outstanding design potential. This is due to its excellent tolerance of regular cutting – its ability to regenerate is exceptional!

In the autumn, the leaves change colour to an impressive golden-yellow then dry-out and turn a coppery-grey colour. In some locations, hornbeam like beech can retain its dead leaves during the winter months, providing a valuable privacy screen through to the spring when the new leaves break through. Fallen dead hornbeam leaves rot quickly into the ground and are good soil improvers.

Instant Hedge Projects

Browse some of our recent instant hedge installations with our latest case studies below.