Help with Buying Hornbeam

Julian Bosdari posted this on 18 Jul 2016

Advice on Buying a Hornbeam Hedge hornbeam

Hornbeam hedging looks almost identical to a beech hedge, which is one of the most popular formal and country hedge plants.
Slightly cheaper than Beech, Hornbeam hedging is suitable for damp, shady or very cold sites that Beech won't tolerate.

When to use Hornbeam instead of Beech.
Just like beech, a Hornbeam hedge will hold onto its dead autumn leaves throughout the winter.

Other Names for Hornbeam - Carpinus betulus:
Common Hornbeam
European Hornbeam

Potted VS Bareroot Hornbeam:
Hornbeam is delivered in a pot during summer and bareroot in the winter (Nov-March).
The plants themselves are exactly the same, though the smallest & cheapest size, graded at 40-60cms tall, is only available bareroot.

  • We recommend using bareroot Hornbeam plants - they are cheaper, easier to handle and because they are planted in winter, unlikely to need watering.
  • If you need to do your planting outside the winter season (Nov-March), then Potted Hornbeam plants are just as good, but you must be able to water them during every dry spell.

Which Size is Best for Hornbeam Hedging?
You can choose the plants' size at delivery to suit your budget and schedule:

  • If you are on a tight budget or if time is not really an issue, using small plants is best - you will get a great hedge with very little fuss.
  • If you need a screen as soon as possible, use the larger sizes - just be sure to trim them as they establish to get a really bushy hedge. Take a look at our discounted packs of 50 Hornbeam in larger sizes to see if they will save you money.
  • We reckon the best size for a balance between price & getting a mature hedge fast is the 60-80 cms tall grade.

When can you plant Hornbeam?
Hornbeam is available bareroot for winter planting, Nov-March, and potted for the rest of the year.

When do you Clip and Prune Hornbeam?
When your hedge is mature, you can make it keep its autumn foliage during winter by giving it a light trim in late spring and again in Early August. If necessary, carry out heavier pruning work in winter.

How to Plant a Hornbeam Hedge:
Hornbeam is very hardy and will grow in any soil type, though it doesn't perform well in poorly fertile earth.
Once your plants are in the ground, give them a very light trim by snipping off the top bud from the end of each stem - this will encourage them to become bushier.
Spacing: 3 plants per metre, 33cms apart, in a single row is fine for most hedges. You can plant a staggered double row at 20-25 cms apart if you want it to be very secure.

Looking for a big Hornbeam tree instead of a hedge?
We have Large Hornbeam Standards for sale - these are the same tree as the hedging plants, just delivered at a larger size and grown with a nice straight trunk.
You can also buy Fastigiate Hornbeam, which is a compact, upright ornamental variety.

Delivery information:

  • The winter planting and delivery season for bareroot hornbeam trees is in between November and March.
  • Potted Hornbeam hedging is available for the rest of the year - these are delivered in pots but will need to be planted out.
  • You can place your order for bareroot hornbeam trees at any time of year and choose a winter delivery date that suits you.
  • We delivery by week, not by a specific day. You will receive an e-mail to notify you of the exact delivery date the day before your plants arrive.
  • We will not charge you until your plants are ready to be shipped.
  • When they are delivered, we use a 24 hour courier service to get your hornbeam trees to you in top condition.
  • You can contact us on 01963 359 444 or if you have any questions or suggestions.

Browse all of our Hedging Plants here.

Categories: Hedge Plant Advice
Tags: hedging  carpinus  hornbeam 
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