European Hornbeam Hedge

Carpinus betulus

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European Hornbeam Hedge2020-08-07T11:04:13+00:00
The densely branched European Hornbeam is columnar when young and grows into its stately namesake shape as it ages, up to 80 feet tall where it is native in Europe and Central Asia. Carpinus betulus has a distinctive fluted gray bark and sharply-toothed dark green foliage that turns yellow-orange in autumn. Planted in groups, it works perfectly as a screen or windbreak and can work equally well as a formal hedge with hard pruning. It’s best pruned during the late summer to mid-winter period, when significant bleeding can be avoided. In Europe, it is a popular tree for pleaching, a kind of large-scale topiary gardening where trees are grown together in a natural form of interwoven grafting. This became a common gardening practice in the medieval era, when the tree was celebrated for its shade-producing qualities. In fact the hornbeam has been in cultivation for such a long time there is no noted date of introduction.

A European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) unit around 4' high, ready to ship in its biodegradable cardboard container.


Neatly-pruned rows of European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) at the nursery.


A European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) unit around 6' high, ready to ship in its biodegradable cardboard container.


Fall display on the European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is a stunning mix of colors.


European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) offers substantial screening even in the winter because the previous year's foliage remains on the branches through much of the winter.

Quick Guide

European hornbeam hedge

    Carpinus BETULUS Details

    Carpinus betulus was introduced to North America sometime during the colonial era. The common ‘hornbeam’ name is due to the tree’s extremely hard wood, which will take on a horn-like smooth polish, and was once widely used in Europe to make oxen yokes. The hedge works perfect in urban areas. Carpinus betulus is perfect for screening to get instant privacy.

    European Hornbeam looks very similar to European Beech when grown as a hedge, and they can be considered interchangeable. You can learn more about the differences between Hornbeam and Beech here. Buy Carpinus Betulus today!

    Deer Resistance:YES
    Your Hardiness Zone:

    Sunset Heat Zones:2 - 9 and 14 - 17
    USDA Hardiness Zones:4 - 8
    Watering Requirements:Weekly, or possibly more often in containers or extreme heat
    Growth Rate:Moderate
    Mature Size:Up to 12’ height and 4’ width
    Sun/Shade:Full Sun to Full Shade
    Drought Tolerance:Yes
    Pest/Disease Issues:
    No serious insect or disease problems. Resistant to verticillium. Susceptible to scales and root rot.

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