Carpinus betulus, also known as the European or Common Hornbeam are a wonderful native specimen that is very popular for pleaching in the UK owing to its propensity to hold onto its leaf during the winter months.
The common Hornbeam has characteristic grey fluted trunk with ovate, ribbed and serrated leaves (catkins appear in late spring) that turn a lovely clear yellow in autumn.
When pleached, or turned into a hedging plant, this tree will often retain its brown leaves into the winter, subject to climate and site conditions.
Medium pleached trees have a 1.8m clear stem and are trained onto a flat frame which measures approximately 1m high x 1.2m wide frame.
Instant have a 1.8m clear stem with frames approximately 2m x 2m frame.
Trees trained in this way will require regular maintenance to prune back and tie any loose branches back onto the frames. Pleached panels can be extremely effective for improving privacy in small urban gardens, and like any pleached tree, have the benefit of doing this without reducing the living space in the garden.
To form an instant screen you can plant these trees 1.2m apart so each panel will meet the next.
Carpinus betulus is a British native tree producing hard, finely grained timber with many uses. The timber of the Hornbeam has traditionally been used to produce mallets, skittles and even the moving parts of pianos.
Hornbeam grows well on most soils, including heavy clay and chalk. A most useful tree for poor planting conditions.
Why do some trees hold onto dead leaves?
Mature height: 3m (if maintained)