Hornbeam, Large Trees

General Info RHS AGM, Wildlife Value
Shade Partial Shade
Area Exposed Windy Areas, Frost Pockets, Scotland & The North
Soil Good, Well Drained, Acidic, Alkaline/Chalky, Poor/Dry, Wet
Type Native, Screening
Ornamental Autumn Colour

Carpinus betulus Clear Stem

See full product description

  Buy 3 or more bareroot trees and save

SIZES 1-2 3-910+
6/8cm Girth Standard. Bareroot Out of Stock £89.94Out of Stock £74.94Out of Stock £69.96
8/10cm Girth Standard. Bareroot Sold out for the season £124.98Sold out for the season£104.40Sold out for the season£94.44
  Prices include VAT(where applicable)



Hornbeam - Standard needs...
  • Tree Guards for Standards and established Trees

    Tree Guard, Heavy Duty

    From £4.02

  • Treated Tree Stakes

    Stakes, Tree Planting

    From £5.76

  • Rootgrow Root Stimulant


    From £6.00

  • Tree Planting pack - mulch mat, pegs, stake and tie

    Tree Planting Pack

    From £10.19

Carpinus betulus: Bareroot Hornbeam Trees in Standard Sizes

Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, is a fairly large, native, deciduous tree. Parkland hornbeam trees have dense, rounded canopies that cast full shade underneath them.

The green leaves look similar to those of beech, except for the more deeply crinkled veins and the jagged edges. The autumn colour is russet-gold. Hornbeam seeds have 3-lobed wings and are eaten mainly by small mammals, finches and tits.
It makes a beautiful parkland specimen, with a rounded, spreading canopy that casts deep shade underneath it.
Hornbeam can reach a height of about 25 metres.

You can also buy Fastigiate Hornbeam, which is more compact and upright than the wild variety on this page.
Standard trees are the largest size that we deliver; you can buy younger Hornbeam saplings, which are ideal for hedging.
Browse our large garden trees, or all of our trees.

Delivery season: Hornbeam trees are delivered bareroot during late autumn and winter, approximately November-March inclusive.
Choosing a size: Small trees are cheaper, easier to handle and more forgiving of less than ideal aftercare, so they are best for a big planting project. If instant impact is your priority, or if you are only buying a few plants for use in a place where it is convenient to water them well in their first year, then you may as well use bigger ones. All our bareroot trees are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).


  • Height: 25m
  • Large, spreading habit
  • Soil: Any, shade-tolerant
  • Native
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Bareroot delivery only: November-March

Growing Hornbeams

Hornbeams are versatile trees, only needing reasonably fertile soil. They love heavy clay, will tolerate shade and can be planted in the coldest regions and frost pockets.
The wood is very hard and can resist strong wind in exposed areas.

It is a superb screening tree that should need no pruning maintenance.

Hornbeam is the classic substitute for beech on wet or shady sites.

Did You Know?

Hornbeam wood is extremely strong and in the past it was prized for weight-bearing beams in the walls and roofs of houses. It is excellent firewood, producing almost as much heat for a given volume of fuel as coal.
It isn't very good at propagating itself in Britain and Northern Europe because the seeds can take 3 years to germinate, during which time they are mostly eaten. If a seed does get to sprout, the sapling is unlikely to survive its first year. Hornbeam's true native range in Britain is limited to the South East; it is so common elsewhere because humans have planted it for coppicing since ancient times.

In old English, beam referred to a living tree, and horn refers to the hardness of the wood.

Other common names: Charmille, yoke elm, and horn, horse, hurst, or white beech.

Standard trees are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level: their trunk's waist measurement. Unlike sapling trees and hedge plants, standards aren't measured by their height, which will vary quite a bit both between and within species.
So, a 6/8cm standard tree has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8cm and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10cm around. This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height.
On average, standard trees are 2-3.5 metres tall when they arrive, but we cannot tell you precisely how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.

  • Small Box

    Small boxes

    (Orders containing seedlings or rooted cuttings)


    including VAT per order

  • Small box

    (All barerooted plants under 1.2 metres in height. Please note: all trees are charged at the trees and hedging rate.)


    including VAT per order

  • Medium box

    (Any pots up to
    and incl. 7.5L)


    including VAT per order

  • Trees & Hedging

    (For all orders of trees of any size, and all bareroot plants 1.2 metres and over in height)


    including VAT per order

  • Pallets

    (For all orders of root balls,
    and large orders, a pallet
    price will be automatically
    applied at checkout)


    including VAT per order

*Delivery to mainland Britain & the Isle of Wight ONLY. Surcharges to the Isle of Wight and some areas of Scotland apply.

Bareroot planting is best done between November and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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