Carpinus japonica

Japanese hornbeam

Outstanding Qualities

Japanese hornbeam is one of the most elegant small trees for the garden. It forms a low wide spreading mounded-shape with a thin delicate layered branching habit. The bark is smooth and ashy gray. The leaves are very attractive with toothed edges and prominent veins giving a unique accordion like appearance. The fruit is a dry papery catkin that looks like hops. This lovely tree is tolerant of sun or shade and can make a great addition to a woodland setting.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: dark green

Great Color Partners: silver, gold, variegated

Culture Notes

Japanese hornbeam grows best 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 requires only occasional watering during dry weather. Very little pruning is needed to maintain its lovely layered habit. Only remove dead, broken or poorly formed limbs.

© J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 m.)

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

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9

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

Water Requirements: occasional watering