Hornbeam: Description Of The Tree, Where It Grows, Species, Planting And Care

The hornbeam tree (Cárpinus) has a spectacular dense crown. This is why it is often used not only in parks, but also in the alleys of palace ensembles. For several centuries, the wood of this tree has been widely used by people for household purposes. The fact is that it can be compared to ebony in strength.

Hornbeam is not highly resistant to frost.

That is why in Russia it can be found only in southern regions. In autumn time the foliage is colored in whimsical shades, so once emerald foliage becomes pink, rich red and golden. And since varieties of hornbeam can differ from each other by the shape of the crown, it is very popular among landscape designers. They often use it to beautify city streets and private grounds.

Peculiarities of hornbeam

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

The hornbeam tree has a very unusual name, which comes from the word gerep, which translates to "scratch, cut".

It most likely has to do with the excessively dense wood, as well as the foliage, the top of which is pointed. This deciduous tree is part of the Birch family. Its height can vary from 20 to 30 m, with a trunk that reaches about 0.4 m across. Usually the crown has an unusual cylindrical shape.

It is very dense and ornamental.

The size of the leaflets is directly related to the type of hornbeam and can be 5-15 centimeters. The edge of the bright green foliage is toothed. The front surface of the leaf plate is smooth and covered with a reticulate vein pattern, while the back surface is pubescent with soft villi. The plant looks most spectacular in autumn, when its foliage changes its colors to autumnal.

In spring, the earrings grow on the branches of the tree. The female earrings reach a length of about 15 centimeters and the male ones up to 6 centimeters. In late autumn, the hornbeam bears fruit, which are small, dark brown nuts that are only 0.3 to 0.5 centimeters across.

The first fruits appear on the tree when it is 15-20 years old. The average life span of the hornbeam is 150-300 years.

This plant belongs to the ornamental-leaved ones. Its crown is very easy to prune and it can easily hold its shape for a long time. Its abundant foliage actively clears the air of pollutants in the growing area.

When growing in the yard it provides good protection against harsh gusts of wind and noise coming from the street.

Well-developed root system has a lot of branches. It is located close to the soil surface. Soil with a lot of lime and a lot of moisture is best for hornbeam. It will do well in a shady and a well-lit area.

In addition, such a tree is widely used by people in everyday life.

Hornbeam. Its features. Care of the hornbeam. Propagation of hornbeam.

Benefits of hornbeam

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

The foliage of hornbeam has useful properties. Though not used medicinally, it is very nutritious and contains a large number of trace elements: tannins, aldehydes, bioflavonoids, coumarins as well as caffeic, ascorbic and gallic acids.

The seeds of the plant contain a large amount of useful fats. An infusion of hornbeam flowers is used to normalize cerebral vascular activity. However, before using this remedy, a qualified specialist should be consulted.

Where does the hornbeam grow

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

In nature, there are over fifty varieties of hornbeam. This tree is widespread in the northern continents.

The European hornbeam is the most numerous species and its timber is among the most valuable. It is found in the Caucasus, Europe and Asia. Some species grow in Iran, North America, the Balkans and southern Russia.

They can also be found in the Caucasus, Belarus and Ukraine. Hornbeam is quite widespread in the Baltic countries. However, bush hornbeam can be found in China, Japan and Korea.

This tree prefers to grow on soil where water does not stagnate. It is best suited for:

  • forest edges;
  • mid and lower mountain sides;
  • well-lit slope sides;
  • rocky soil.

Grape does best in moist and nutritious soil. However, the plant will die on acidic soil and in boggy areas. Sunny, dry areas with lime-rich soil are more suitable for it.

The tree is highly resistant to pests, and it does not suffer when the air temperature drops (but not less than 15 degrees). After a prolonged dry spell, the bollworm beetle may settle on the tree.

If moisture stagnates in the soil, it can cause rot. And in excessively hot and arid climates, the tree's top may wither. In North America, the hornbeam prefers to grow on river slopes, looking more like a shrub.

Hornbeam species with photos

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

There are over 50 species of hornbeam today. The most common species, however, include the common hornbeam.

Most varieties of this plant can be found in Asia. Only three species of hornbeam come to Russia.

The quality of the wood is directly related to the place of origin of the plant. In spite of its durability, if untreated wood will lose its quality after a short time. In this regard, it is not used for exterior decoration.

Artisans make products from chocolate, emerald or white hornbeam. However, it should be remembered that, for example, emerald hornbeam is a bar impregnated with a green dye. In reality, however, the wood has a quite ordinary hue, characteristic of many hardwoods.

The European hornbeam, or common

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

This species occurs naturally in the European part of the continent, with it being among the most common. The height of an adult tree can reach up to 30 m.

The luxuriant crown is cylindrical in shape. The trunk is about 0.4 m in diameter and has a ribbed surface covered with a grayish bark. Thin branches are decorated with elongated or rounded leaf plates. Flowering lasts from May to the second half of June.

The plant is characterized by abundant fruiting, with the nuts maturing by mid-October. Unless the tree is five years old, it will grow very slowly. To speed up the growth of the hornbeam, regular fertilization is recommended. Only mature trees at least 20 years old are suitable.

This pale coloured wood may have a light yellow or grey shade.

It is very dense and not easily bent. Varieties of this plant may differ from one another in the shape of their leaves or crowns. Trees with pyramidal crowns can be found in the wild. The tree is found throughout Europe with the exception of Spain and Scandinavia. It also grows in the European part of the CIS countries and in the Baltics.

You do not often see hornbeam forests. As a rule the hornbeam grows together with other deciduous and coniferous species. It is used for landscaping.

The black hornbeam, or oriental

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

This species is only about 5-8 m high. The shape of the lush crown is ovoid.

The surface of the curved trunk is covered with grayish bark. The bright green foliage changes its color to yellow in the fall. In nature it is found in the Crimea and the Caucasus, as well as in Iran, Asia Minor and European countries. It prefers to grow on forest edges, sunny slopes and stony dry ground. It is a drought-tolerant, light-demanding and hardy plant.

It grows very slowly and has an average life span of 100 to 150 years.

It tolerates formative pruning very well. This strongly branching tree forms a lush crown and can be shaped in the fanciest way with pruning. This is the reason the species is widely cultivated: it is used for park landscaping and for making of "green" hedges.

Thanks to a special method of coloring the wood acquires a black shade.

It is impregnated with nigrosin, a mixture of nitrobenzene, aniline and hydrochloric acid. Over the years, the wood retains its bright color, does not stain or fade. It is sold in bars.

Caucasian hornbeam

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

This hornbeam differs from other species in that its fruits are smaller in size. Externally, the species is very similar to the common hornbeam.

Its height is about 35 m. The crown in the lower part has dark-colored leaves, and in the upper part - a lighter color. This plant can be found in the Crimea, Iran, Caucasus and Asia. The maximum height at which you can see such a hornbeam is about 2 thousand meters above sea level. In the Crimea and the Caucasus this species is valued because its developed root system strengthens the stony ground, preventing the falling rocks.

Forming pruning does not harm the plant. Its crown is very lush and dense. This hornbeam is widely used in topiary art, its luxuriant crown practically does not let the light pass through, so the tree is often used for forming green walls and hedges.

Flexibility of wood is low and it is very strong. It is used to produce emerald hornbeam: the planks are impregnated with a green dye and then used in applied art.

To achieve a bright emerald shade, you will need special substances and knowledge, and not all professionals are able to do either. This wood does not wash or stain and is used to create necklaces, rings and much more.

Carolyno Hornbeam

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

This tree is small in height, about 12 meters. You can also come across strong shrubs decorated with wide-spreading branches. The crown is very dense.

Colored in a grayish-brown or ashy-gray shade, the bark has a relatively smooth surface. The small leaf plates are rounded at the base and pointed at the top. In summer, the leaves are colored green with a bluish tint. In autumn the coloring changes to orange or deep red.

In nature the species can be seen in the eastern part of North America.

It thrives well near water bodies (river banks, areas near marshes). In CIS countries it is widely used in culture as an ornamental-leaved plant. Its wood is distinguished by its stability, density and resistance to wear.

Heartleaf Hornbeam

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

In Russia, this plant can be found only in Primorsky Territory. This species also grows in other countries such as Korea, China and Japan.

The maximum height at which it can be seen is 400 meters above sea level. It prefers to grow near mountain bases. It reaches an average height of about 15 meters, with a trunk diameter of about 25 centimeters. If you look at the trunk of an adult plant, it may appear to be wrapped in many snakes. When the tree is young, it has a dark gray bark with a smooth surface, on which you can see new growths of a lighter color (lenticels).

Thanks to them, gas exchange occurs inside the trunk. Over time, many cracks appear on the bark, as well as lichens and moss.

The shape of the leaf plates looks like unusual hearts. They reach about 6 centimeters in width and up to 12 centimeters in length. The first leaves open in the last days of April.

And by the second half of October, they are already turning yellow. Forming pruning does not harm this hornbeam. It is used to form green hedges along with other ornamental trees and shrubs.

Turchaninova hornbeam

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

This very branchy, low-growing tree is about 5m tall. It is thought to be native to Korea and China.

The broad, small, oval-shaped leaflets are 30 to 50 mm in size. The species is one of the rare ones. It is highly decorative. The spherical-shaped crown is well tolerated by pruning. The characteristic feature of this plant is the change of color of leaves during the whole year: in spring they are bronze, in summer - green, and in autumn - orange-yellow with lots of speckles.

There are serrations along the edge of the shiny leaf plates.

Virginia hornbeam

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

It is a variety of the carolina hornbeam. Native to North America. The plant looks like a shrub and is about 4 meters tall. Spreading branches form a spherical crown.

It is characterized by slow growth, for a long time keeps a neat appearance. The plant is very popular among landscapers. Thanks to formative pruning the crown can be given the most different shape. The variety is used to form hedges, green constructions as well as decorative compositions with other woody species and flowers.

Grub common formed | Plante.


Production methods

Growing from seed

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

Grub can be grown from seed. The seeds are harvested in the fall. It will keep its germinating power for about three years. Before sowing, place the seeds in a dampened cloth or water where they will remain for 30 days. After that, they are placed in the heat.

The first sprouts should appear after about 15 days. When they are about 20-30 mm long, the seeds are carefully planted in small pots. When the seedlings grow up and get stronger, they are transplanted into the open ground. When choosing this method, be prepared for the fact that it takes quite a long time and that not every seed produces a viable shoot.


Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

Pick the strongest stem and cut a cutting from it.

It should be about 20 centimeters long. Treat the cut spot with a solution of manganese potassium. Next, the cuttings are placed in a glass with water for two to three days. For rooting, they are planted in moist soil mixture. After the cuttings grow a few young leaves, they can be planted in the open ground.

This method of propagation is easy and quick.

Spring propagation

Grape can also be propagated by grafts. To do this, make a groove near the trunk of the tree and apply fertilizer. Drench the furrows and place the lower, healthy and strong branches in them, with the bark cut off beforehand. Fix the branches and cover them with soil.

This method does not always help to get a good seedling.

Transplanting a seedling to a permanent place should be carried out at least 30 days before the first autumn frosts. The procedure can be postponed until spring, with transplanting done before the first buds form on the seedlings.

In nature, hornbeam propagation is accomplished by seeds. The pollen is carried by the wind from the tree with male flowers to the plant with female flowers.


Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

Planting hornbeam is recommended in the last days of September or first days of November, before the first frosts occur. In spring, planting is done before the buds swell. The distance between the seedling and neighboring trees is at least 0.3-0.4 m.

The planting hole should have a depth of 0.5-0.6 m. In the prepared hole, 1 bucket of water is poured. Planting is started after 24 hours.


  1. First, a small amount of humus is poured into the hole.
  2. Further, a quality drainage layer is placed to prevent moisture stagnation and root rot.
  3. Place the tree in the center of the hole and spread out the roots. Fill all voids with soil.
  4. Surface of soil is compacted and watered.

  5. The root neck should be level with the soil. The surface of the root circle should be covered with stones or covered with a layer of hay.
  6. Saplings should be watered abundantly twice a week.

Saplings need to be covered in winter. Cover them with burlap and branches or use special bags placed on top.

Remove weeds in good time. Only after a couple of years can the first trimming be carried out.


Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

Cut out all dead leaf plates, excess branches, withered or injured shoots, faded flowers during sanitary pruning. In addition, a formative pruning is carried out, giving the crown the necessary shape. Crown thinning is done once every six months.

Diseases and pests

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

Grape is resistant to both pests and fungal and bacterial diseases. However, during an epidemic it can suffer from diseases and pests such as:

  1. Silkworm caterpillars. Damage young shoots and leaves. Adults lay larvae under tree bark. Treatment with Decis or Actara is necessary.

  2. Silkworm. Top leaves and branches of diseased tree wither. Mature plants (at least 60 years old) are affected more often.
  3. Core rot. Dark-colored spots form on the bark of the affected plant.

    The disease has a rapid course. A diseased hornbeam dies.

To avoid most problems with the tree, plant it in a well-lit area with moderately moist soil.

Purpose and application

Hornbeam: description of the tree, where it grows, species, planting and care

The hard wood of hornbeam is of little use for finishing materials. Such material cannot be properly impregnated with oils and other substances used to preserve it.

The surface of the finished product is subjected to a thick coat of varnish and special protective agents.

The wood of such wood has nevertheless found a wide application. Parquet boards, industrial machines, floor coverings, billiard cues are made of it.

The wood is uniformly dense and lacks a core. The color is homogeneous and light.

Age rings are placed chaotically and are quite thin. A fresh log cabin has a moisture level of 55 percent, which indicates a strong drying of the wood. It is recommended that it be treated prior to direct use, before drying.

This wood has 25 percent more compression, expansion, and bending than oak. This kind of wood is used as fasteners.

It is also used to make kitchen utensils and musical instruments. Beautiful toys, gift boxes, and fixtures are made from it. It is also used for golf clubs and farm implements. It is not very flexible, does not wear out, and is shock resistant.

According to esotericists, such wood has a powerful effect on the flow of a person's thoughts.

Therefore, if a person can not understand himself, he is advised to buy a piece of hornbeam. It is believed that it will help find the right direction and encourage good deeds. All it takes is one touch of it to bring new life and vitality. Made of hornbeam accessories have a calming effect, helps with melancholy and depression. They are made from moraine wood: emerald, white, black, etc.



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