Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam)



Bareroot from November to April

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Trees & Hedging
If your preference is to buy online, you can purchase these plants in cell grown form from our webshop.

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Non-trade pricing

Price £ each (ex. VAT)
Height Age 1+ 25+ 100+ 500+ 1000+
40-60cm 2+0 0.84 0.51 0.45 0.42 0.38
40-60cm 1+1 0.98 0.64 0.57 0.54 0.49
60-80cm 2+0 1.02 0.61 0.54 0.51 0.46
60-80cm 1+1 1.13 0.73 0.65 0.62 0.56
80-100cm 1+1 1.56 1.01 0.91 0.86 0.78
100-125cm 1+2 2.58 1.67 1.49 1.42 1.29

Trade / wholesale enquiries

Discounted trade / wholesale prices are available upon request.
Please contact the office for a quotation or a trade price list.

Minimum order values
Please note that there is a minimum order value of £50.00 + VAT, excluding delivery, for existing customers and £75.00 + VAT, excluding delivery, for new customers. Orders under those values can be placed via Trees & Hedging, our online webshop.


Delivery to UK mainland is included for stock orders over £750 + VAT (subject to postcode surcharges). For full details on delivery, please view our delivery page.


Often confused with beech at first sight, Hornbeam is a good substitute on wet or shady sites where Beech will not do well. It makes a medium-sized specimen tree on heavy clay soil in parklands and gardens where other trees will not thrive, and it is an excellent hedge, retaining its leaves over winter in the same way as Beech. It is also good for coppicing and pollarding, and along with Lime, it is most often used for making pleached hedges.

Site and soil

Hornbeam will do well on most soils including wet clays. It is also tolerant of shade and frost pockets, and because the timber is so strong, it withstands wind well without damage to the branches.

Height and spread

After 10 years: 6m x 4m
After 20 years: 11m x 6m

Leaf and bark

The leaves are ovate and sharply toothed, with prominent veins. They are between 7 – 12 cm long, mid green, turning yellow and orange before leaf fall in autumn. The leaves are retained over winter on hedging. The bark is grey and fluted, often twisted with age.

Flower, seed and fruit

The yellowish female catkins open in clusters in March and are followed by racemes of green winged fruits, which ripen to brown.


Hornbeam makes an elegant pyramidal, later rounded, specimen tree for parkland, woodland and larger gardens. It coppices well, and in the past older trees were pollarded. It makes a good hedge, retaining its dead leaves over winter, and is also used for making flat pleached hedges where each plant is given a good spacing and the branches are trained out horizontally on each side at regular intervals.

The wood is very hard and is used for butcher’s blocks, mallets, gun stocks, mill cogs and piano hammers.


Insects are attracted to the catkins in spring and several species of moth larvae feed on its leaves. Insects shelter in the crevices of the bark, providing food for birds.


Coppicing and pollarding should be carried out in winter. Hedges should be trimmed in summer.