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Hornbeam Trees | Carpinus Trees

Hornbeam trees make fantastic ornamental trees, with a choice of habit (native and rounded or upright and formal) and dense foliage; this makes them ideal for screening as well as hedging. They are a popular choice for avenue planting as their foliage canopies make an attractive feature in urban settings.


The history of Hornbeam trees

The name Hornbeam is derived from the Latin 'horn' in reference to the hardiness of the wood and 'beam' the Old English for tree. Carpinus is the ancient Latin word for the species. Hornbeam trees have a rich history within folklore. A tonic was made from the leaves to treat tiredness and exhaustion and the leaves were commonly used to prevent bleeding and heal wounds.


Common uses of Hornbeam trees

Hornbeam produces a very hard timber, known as Ironwood. As it is difficult to work, it is not commonly used in carpentry however when a particularly hard wood is needed it comes in useful. Examples of hornbeam uses include: piano actions, carving boards, tool handles, parquet flooring, chess pieces and gears in early machinery.


The male and female flowers are on separate catkins but on the same tree. They are wind pollinated and appear in spring. The leaves are deciduous but provide an evergreen effect. Similarly to Beech, the leaves turn brown in autumn but hold onto the branches until the fresh green growth comes through in spring.


Ornamental Tree Nurseries have a lovely range of Carpinus trees, whether you're after a formal, upright specimen or a native, natural effect, Hornbeam trees make a great addition to a planting scheme. For further information contact our Sales and Service team on 01257 265232 or email us at


To view our full range of native ornamental trees, click here.

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