Carpinus betulus Tree

Common Hornbeam Trees
  • From £49.99 (ex VAT)

The common hornbeam, with its grey/green smooth bark and fluted trunk is a wonderful, stately, rounded native tree. Ovate, glossy foliage is mid-green and deeply ribbed turning yellow in the autumn. Green catkins appear from late spring followed by clusters of winged fruit. Carpinus betulus is a very useful tree, it makes a good hedge and when clipped correctly will hold its brown leaves for some time when others have fallen, making it ideal for screening purposes.

The European Hornbeam takes well to being trained and is often used for pleaching. The wood can be used for construction or fuel as this tree is suited to pollarding or coppicing. The hornbeam tree will happily grow in a shaded position and is reliably tough. Also, this native tree is attractive to a great deal of wildlife most prominently the hawfinch and several species of moth. As a tree, Carpinus betulus will grow to 10 x 6 meters in 20 years, a beautiful, majestic tree for those who have the space.

AKA European hornbeam

  • Common name: Common hornbeam
  • Height and spread in 20 years: 10 x 6 meters
  • Seasons of interest: Spring, Autumn, Winter
  • Foliage: Mid-green, deeply ribbed leaves turn yellow in autumn
  • Soil: Tolerant of most soil types but requires a moist, well-drained site

Planting Advice for Carpinus betulus Trees

Our pot grown European Hornbeam trees can be planted at any time of the year, unlike bare root trees. Start by removing weeds and grass within a metre of your intended planting hole. Dig a square hole as deep as your root mass and approximately 2x as wide. To help your tree establish more effectively, especially if you have poor soil, we advise sprinkling root grow in the hole.

Take the pot off and gently loosen the tree roots, then place into the planting hole. Mix 50% of the original soil with 50% compost, then fill in the hole and firm around gently. Make sure not to bank the soil up around the collar of the tree. We advise planting young trees with a stake and tie kit and, if your area is prone to rabbits, a rabbit guard.

Aftercare of Carpinus betulus Trees

If you’re planting in spring, summer or dry weather, water well and regularly for the first few months. Make sure to keep an eye on young European Hornbeam trees and increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If you’re planting in autumn, you may only need to water your tree a little. We stock a range of irrigation kits, suitable for a variety of planting schemes.

Once planted, it is important to keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons.

Pruning Advice for Carpinus betulus Trees

European Hornbeam trees develop a well-balanced canopy with little help from us. Established Hornbeam trees only require tidying up, by removing any crossing or damaged branches.

You can encourage young Hornbeam trees to form a clear trunk by pruning the lower branches. This will help to raise the canopy and improve the overall look of the tree.

Delivery Timescales

Most deliveries are made within a week of placing the order. All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team, with many despatched to our tried and tested couriers within 24 hours (please allow up to 10 days). There's no need to be in to receive your trees and you can request where they are left via the checkout.

There is a slightly longer timescale on pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) because we group orders together by geographic area for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers to notify them of the delivery date and whether the delivery driver needs assistance.

Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.

Our nursery is a busy despatch centre, so please make an appointment to collect or view trees.  For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.

Delivery Costs

1 small tree (most trees with a height under 1.5 metres) : £7.95 + vat

1 medium tree (most trees 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £9.95 + vat

2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £12.95 + vat

1-4 large trees (trees too large to fit in a box): £19.95 + vat

Mature, pleached or 5+ large trees: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode. You can buy additional trees with no increase in delivery cost.

The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process.

Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Non Mainland UK

Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us to see if we can find a solution.

Below are definitions of various forms, which refer to the shape of the tree defined by the pruning it has received. For more advice, please contact us.

Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.

Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.

Multi Stem: A multi stem tree is has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system. Take care to buy a true multi-stem like all ours and not those that are 3 saplings in a pot to cheaply imitate them.

Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.

Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.

Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.

Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branch), which supports a branched crown. Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height.

Standard  either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard  10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard  12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height

The product table below gives the sizes and forms offered for this variety, along with photos you can enlarge (these are only a guideline as all plants are unique so vary slightly).

Plant Specification Form Supplied Size Root typePrice Quantity Qty
Carpinus betulus Form: Pruned & Shaped Tree Supplied Size: 150-200cm Root type: 10L pot Carpinus betulus Price £49.99 (ex VAT)
Pruned & Shaped Tree 150-200cm 10L pot £49.99 (ex VAT)
Carpinus betulus Form: Standard Tree, 8-10cm girth Supplied Size: approx 3.0-3.5m Root type: 28L pot Carpinus betulus Price £139.99 (ex VAT)
Standard Tree, 8-10cm girth approx 3.0-3.5m 28L pot £139.99 (ex VAT)
Carpinus betulus Form: Premium Standard Tree, 10-12cm girth Supplied Size: approx 3.0-3.5m Root type: 45L pot Carpinus betulus Price £159.99 (ex VAT)
Premium Standard Tree, 10-12cm girth approx 3.0-3.5m 45L pot £159.99 (ex VAT)
Carpinus betulus Form: Heavy Standard Tree, 12-14cm girth Supplied Size: approx 3.5-4.5m Root type: 45L pot Carpinus betulus Price £179.99 (ex VAT)
Heavy Standard Tree, 12-14cm girth approx 3.5-4.5m 45L pot £179.99 (ex VAT)
Carpinus betulus Form: Extra Heavy Standard Tree, 14-16cm girth Supplied Size: approx 4.5-6.0m Root type: 55L pot Carpinus betulus Price £199.99 (ex VAT)
Extra Heavy Standard Tree, 14-16cm girth approx 4.5-6.0m 55L pot £199.99 (ex VAT)
Carpinus betulus Form: Extra Heavy Standard Tree, 16-18cm girth Supplied Size: approx 4.5-6.0m Root type: 45L pot Carpinus betulus Price £219.99 (ex VAT)
Extra Heavy Standard Tree, 16-18cm girth approx 4.5-6.0m 45L pot £219.99 (ex VAT)
Total: £0.00 (VAT Free)