A treasured densely branched British native tree traditionally used in historic garden. Hardy and undemanding.
Exceptionally good in moist, heavy soils but will also grow in virtually any soil type, chalk, clay, sandy and loam, from slightly acidic to alkaline.
Sun to shade, reliably hardy tolerates winds and heat and withstanding summer droughts reasonably well. Can cope with short periods of flooding.
Suitable for small to large garden / open spaces.
Monoecious, male catkins are yellow and appear before or during budding, the female catkins are green. Pollination is by wind.
Bright-green serrated leaves, appear in early spring.
Intense and cordate roots.
Smooth and light to dark grey in colour.
As well as a fine, free-standing specimen tree, hornbeam possess outstanding design potential. This is due to its excellent tolerance of regular cutting and the ability to regenerate being truly remarkable. Because of this, hornbeam topiary plants can easily be created and tight clipped into pleached, pyramid, box, tubed or roof top shapes to name a few, and are highly valued and used by garden designers and landscape architects alike.
In the autumn, the leaves change colour to an impressive golden-yellow then dry-out and turn a coppery-grey colour and if pruned annually the dry leaves can remain on the tree well into the winter months. Fallen hornbeam leaves rot quickly into the ground and are a great soil improver.