Plant Base Online (beta)
common name: Hornbeam, Ironwood
growth rate: medium
growth habit: broad headed
leaf colour: green
flower colour: yellow
fruit colour: green
main season: Summer
full sun, part shade
moist soil, wet/waterlogged soil, clay soil, sandy soil
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -35°C
USDA zone: 4 to 10
Similar in some ways to beech, but much more tolerant of wet and heavy soils. Medium to large deciduous tree or can be kept trimmed as a hedge. Oval serrated leaves with prominent ribs, turning yellow or orange-brown in autumn. The old leaves may sometimes be retained through winter, for example when used in hedging. Yellow male and greenish female catkins in spring. Clusters of green fruits later, maturing to yellow-brown, with prominent three-lobed bracts Mature trees form a distinctive grey, fluted trunk.
Grows in any soil and succeeds well in wet and heavy clay soils. Will tolerate deep shade when young. Reaches about 8 metres in 10 years.
Responds well to trimming, for example to make hedges. May also be coppiced or pollarded.
Excellent as a deciduous hedge or may be pleached to form a taller screen. In wet and heavy clay soils it is often used in preference to Beech hedging.
Valued for producing very hard wood, from which the common name Hornbeam derives.
A british native tree and also found across much of Europe to Russia and in Turkey.