Carpinus betulus


Outstanding Qualities

The European hornbeam is a resilient urban tree, tolerating poor soils, pollution and heavy foot traffic over its roots. It has a graceful habit, with a muscular, smooth-barked, silver-gray trunk that opens into a wide, rounded, low-branching crown that casts moderate shade. The serrated, deep green leaves turn golden in fall, and mature trees are covered with interesting, dangling seed clusters.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: dark green, bronze

Great Color Partners: silver, variegated

Culture Notes

European 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. If used as a hedge plant it is best in full sun to open shade.

© Mary Randlett

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

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

Plant Width/Spread: 25 ft. 0 in. (7.62 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Flower Color: yellow

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

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established