Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
A dense, fast-growing, native deciduous, boasting dramatic architectural foliage, tolerant of boggy, exposed sites and shades.
A true country house 'classic' the Hornbeam offers a great solution to those seeking an attractive formal hedge in more demanding situations.
Deeply furrowed and heavily toothed 7-12cm bright green, ovate leaves, are joined in spring by clusters of large greenish-yellow catkins. These develop into papery, green winged nuts that ripen to brown. Stunning yellowy-orange autumnal foliage, later turning a coppery-grey, often clings to its branches well into the winter.
Hornbeam excels in moist, heavy soils but will grow in virtually any, provided its roots aren't waterlogged. Suitable for exposed inland and coastal sites, although frost pockets are to be avoided. It performs equally well in full sun or shade.
Hornbeam, like Beech, benefits from a quick trim in late summer to aid leaf retention in winter, enhancing its value as a barrier to pollution and wind with the addition of providing a privacy screen from prying eyes.
Well-drained Chalk, Clay, Sand, Loam
Fast 30-60cm per year approximately
September after its second flush of growth
Privacy screening, windbreak, topiary, sound barrier
Containment of livestock and horses