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Carpinus betulus AGM

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Tree

Habit

Bushy

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Green in Spring

Foliage

Green in Spring and Summer
Yellow in Autumn

Fruit

Brown in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

Higher than 12 metres

Ultimate spread

4-8 metres

Time to ultimate height

more than 50 years


Preferred common name

common hornbeam

Family

Betulaceae


Carpinus are deciduous shrubs and trees with attractive foliage and hop-like fruit clusters in late summer and autumn

C. betulus is a large deciduous tree developing a fluted grey trunk. Leaves 5-8cm long, ovate, conspicuously ribbed, turning yellow in autumn. Catkins open in spring, followed by hop-like fruiting catkins to 8cm

Other common names

  • charmille
  • European hornbeam
  • horn beech
  • horse beech
  • hurst beech
  • white beech
  • yoke elm

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Good in woodland settings

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Clay, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings or by grafting

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Architectural or Flower borders and beds


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Can get caterpillars and aphids

Diseases

Powdery mildews and coral spot may occur