Hornbeam - Carpinus betulus


This name indicates a deciduous tree, short-lived, which in adulthood grows up to 20-25 meters in height. Originally from Europe, Asia and America, it is quite used in gardens and parks, usually as a single specimen.
It has smooth and gray bark; the leaves are dark green on the upper side, lighter on the lower one, rounded, doubly serrated and pointed; in autumn the leaves become of a striking dark orange-red color, before falling. The female and male flowers grow separate, but on the same plant: the male ones are elongated and pendulous catkins, of yellowish color, the feminine ones are first erect, then they lengthen to become pendulous, creamy white. The seeds are covered with three-lobed bracts and grow in tufts.


The carpinus betulus It is a rustic plant, which prefers sunny and bright locations, although it grows well even in partial shade or in total shade. He does not fear the cold or even the winds.
It is a variety that is well suited to hilly climates, cold winds and the hot and sultry days of Italian summers.
As far as the water supply is concerned, it is good to proceed supplying water when the soil is well dry, checking that it allows proper drainage and avoids the formation of water stagnation. During the summer season it is good to also wet the leaves; doing so will also prevent the plant from being hit by red spider mites.

The multiplication of this variety of tree can occur by seed, which must be planted as soon as ripe, in autumn, in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, even if germination is often difficult and can occur even after 20-24 months. In spring you can practice semi-woody cuttings, to be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand. In both cases the young seedlings must be kept in pots for at least two years before being planted.Pests and diseases

The carpinus betulus does not present particular problems as far as diseases and pests are concerned, even if, to obtain an ideal growth, a balanced soil is fundamental, enriched every year with organic fertilizer, and a good supply of water.
One of the most dangerous problems for this kind of plant is represented by the little family, a fungal disease that can cause a sudden root rot that leads to the death of the plant in a short time.

Hornbeam - Carpinus betulus: Variety

the hornbeam we usually see in our woods is the Carpinus Betulus, also called European hornbeam or c. white, flanked by black hornbeam, Ostrya carpinifolia, with more elongated leaves and black bark. In America, the Carpinus carolyniana, or American hornbeam, is widespread, which has more vigorous growth than the European one; in Asia other varieties are widespread, usually with a lesser development and with smaller leaves.