Hornbeam

in Species Guide
Latin name : Carpinus Family : Betulaceae Genus : Carpinus

Recognizing hornbeam

Hornbeam is recognized by:

  • Its fluted gray muscular trunks. Its gray bark, which is smooth while young.
  • Its alternate deciduous leaves, with their serrated edge and deeply furrowed surface.
  • Its fruits (achenes), which grow in clusters
  • Its catkins that hang down in bunches

Sites favored by hornbeam

Temperatures

Average annual temperature of 10°C. The hornbeam likes light or semi-shade. It likes hot summers but does not appreciate a drought.

Rainfall

Average annual rainfall of at least 800 mm. Can still be affected by hydromorphy.

Soils

Hornbeam likes fresh, damp clayey and/or silty soils. It will thrive on chalk soils but does not do very well in acidic or hydromorphic soils. It is found up to 1,300 m altitude.

Root development of the hornbeam

  • Shallow, running root development.
  • Vulnerable to strong winds.

Growth and production of hornbeam

  • Quite slow

Hornbeam plantation

Hornbeam is not planted as part of a single species plantation. There are very few pure hornbeam forests in France.

It is mainly found in coppices with standards, especially oak or beech (oak-hornbeam forests, or beech-hornbeam forests) due to its small size: it rarely exceeds 20 meters high. It is thus often found in mixed forests.

Otherwise, this species is very popular in gardens, where it is often planted as a tree tunnel or hedge. In this case, the plants are spaced 30 cm to 1 meter apart. Once the hornbeam hedge has developed, the new shoots simply need trimming to keep the hedge shape.

Hornbeam wood

  • Light white wood.
  • Very hard, heavy wood (one of the hardest deciduous trees).
  • Sawing can be difficult because of the wood’s hardness.
  • Marked veining.
  • The best deciduous firewood.
  • Used in joinery, for parquet flooring, decoration and toys.
  • Trade name: Hornbeam

Hornbeam health

Not affected by any major disease.

Economic view

Hornbeam is highly sought for firewood as it is an excellent source of fuel.

However, there is not a large market among sawmills as it is very hard and not used much in construction.

It is widely appreciated by both novice and expert gardeners and hornbeam hedges are common.

Votre navigateur n'est pas à jour, votre experience sur le site ne sera pas opimale.