Often confused with common beech, you can tell hornbeam apart by its doubly serrated leaf edges (beech has wavy edged leaves with small hairs). The catkins of hornbeam open in spring and develop into papery green winged fruits that hang in tiered clusters through autumn. Later in the year the leaves turn golden yellow and orange. Hornbeam provides structure when grown alone or can be used in hedging.
Estimate full grown height: 30 metres, growing an estimated 30-60cm each year.
Value to wildlife: A hornbeam hedge keeps its leaves all year round, providing shelter, roosting, nesting and foraging opportunities for birds and small mammals. Hornbeam is the food plant for many insects as well as finches, tits and small mammals who eat the seeds in autumn.
Preferred soil type or environmental conditions: This hardy species can withstand severe weather and grows in almost any well-drained soil and light levels.
UK sourced and grown: Every sapling that we provide is UK sourced and grown to minimise the risk of importing and spreading tree pests and diseases. Seeds are collected and stored in the UK, and they are all coded and batched so that we can track each individual tree.
Learn more about this species on our hornbeam profile.