Gardening Guides

Hints & Tips from Hortlands

Carpinus Betulus / Hornbeam

A long living, tough tree that grows on most soils that are not too poor but with a preference for loamy ground. The hornbeam is sensitive to salt. In historic times before steel came into general use, the hard wood of the hornbeam had been widely used for objects requiring durability. In Old English, the hornbeam was known as the hard tree, ‘horn’ meaning hard and ‘beam’ a tree.

Best known for its large parkland, woodland trees and garden hedges, the hornbeam species has approximately 35 varieties which include outstanding compact, fastigiate, purple leaf and weeping forms.

It is also worth mentioning that the beautiful hornbeam is the perfect tree for cutting and forming into almost any shape and design. This is down to its unique ability to regenerate after clipping, no matter how hard the plant has been pruned, it continues to grow new shoots.

Arches, cones, balls, domes, columns, pyramids and cubes are topiary forms produced from the outstanding Carpinus (Hornbeam).