Shade and Ornamental Trees: Carpinus (Hornbeam)

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Carpinus caroliniana

American Hornbeam (aka Blue Beech or Musclewood) is a rounded tree, single or multi-stemmed, with elm-like leaves which will turn a blend of yellow, orange and red in fall. Attractive, smooth bluish-gray coloured bark.. It is native to eastern North America from Canada to Florida. Male and female winged flowers are inconspicuous and fruit consists of nutlets with 3-winged leaf-like bracts held in a pendulous chain which change from green to brown in fall. Very tolerant of different soil types and of pruning.

Carpinus betulus 'Columnaris Nana'

Dwarf European Hornbeam (aka Carpinus betulus 'Monument') is a densely branched, upright pyramidal, slow growing cultivar originating from Italy. Use as a specimen or hedge. Requires very little pruning. Yellow fall colour.

Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata'

Pyramidal European Hornbeam has very dense compact and symmetrical habit. Most common Hornbeam in the trade, even though the name is misleading. It is compact with numerous, fine upright branches becoming a symmetrical, conical-vase shaped with age. Serrated leaves 5 to 12cm long are dark green in colour, with pronounced veining, turning yellow in the fall. Catkins in spring are followed by winged nutlets (bracts) that hang in chain-like clusters from branches. Heat and drought resistant. Excellent for formal landscapes or street use.

Carpinus betulus 'Frans Fontaine'

Frans Fontaine Pyramidal Hornbeam is probably the most columnar variety which does not broaden with age. As a matter of fact the current season's growth curves inward towards the central leader. Good choice for narrow sites or screening.

Carpinus betulus 'Globosa'

Globosa has a dense, rounded to oval growth habit with no leader. Our Globe Hornbeams are top-grafted onto C. betulus 'Fastigiata' understock to create a "lollipop" effect. Matures into a more flat-topped vase like shape. Does not get as wide as Fastigiata.

Carpinus betulus 'Pendula'

Weeping European Hornbeam is an irregularly weeping form of Hornbeam. Eventually will get wider than tall. Good choice where head room is a concern. Our trees are top-grafted at 1.75m allowing the pendulous branches to cascade to the ground!