Hornbeam trees are large grey, smooth barked (but fluted trunk), beautiful trees native to the South of England. Hornbeam can grow up to a height of 20/25m.
Hornbeam only grow above an of altitude 600m, usually alongside Oak, but also Beech and are very adaptable to all conditions, including wet clay, more so than Beech, which it is often confused with.
Hornbeam has thicker, serrated edge, oval leaves which tend to remain on the branches over Winter, especially if they have been trimmed, turning a brown russet colour. Hornbeam in Spring produce catkins, which develop into hop like fruits.
Hornbeam tress are suitable for pleaching and avenue planting, or grown in a park and have rounded canopies providing plenty of shade underneath. Hornbeam can withstand hard pruning producing dense foliage.
Hornbeam wood is very strong and in the past was made into weight bearing beams in walls and houses. The wood makes good fires bearing as much heat as its volume in coal. Hornbeam has also been used in piano making.
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