Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine’

columnar hornbeam

  • © J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

Outstanding Qualities

When young, the cultivar ‘Fran Fontaine’ is similar to ‘Fastigiata’ but was selected for its ability to retain its sleek, columnar form into maturity. Long-lived even in tough locations, it matures at 40 to 50 feet tall but spreads only about 20 feet. In ten years it seldom spreads more than 6 to 8 feet while reaching a height of 20 to 25 feet. A handsome tree, the summer foliage is a rich green becoming a gold yellow in autumn. This is the best of the European hornbeam selections for use as a street tree

Quick Facts

Plant Type: columnar tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 50 ft. 0 in. (15.24 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 20 ft. 0 in. (6.10 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to deep shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: variegated, burgundy

Great Color Partners: gold, dark green

Culture Notes
This columnar hornbeam will grow well in full sun or light to deep shade. It is not fussy about soil as long as it is well-drained and it will tolerate sandy and clay situations. Once established it is very drought tolerant. Allow enough space for the tree to fully develop. If used as a hedge plant it is best in full sun to open shade.