10 Reasons to choose Hornbeam hedging

Hornbeam is a native species favoured for its attractive foliage and ability to withstand an abundance of hindering planting sites. Also known by its Latin name Carpinus betulus, this popular hedging plant is often mistaken for Beech (fagus sylvatica) as they have a similar appearance but can be distinguished by its leaves which have deeper veins. We’ve compiled a list of ten reasons to choose this fantastic hedge plant.



  1. It’s benefits and multitude of uses have been acknowledged by the Royal Horticultural Society and has been awarded their esteemed Award of Garden Merit.
  2. Hornbeam offers seasonal interest as its glossy green foliage turns a coppery colour in autumn.
  3. Its ideal for heights up to 5m and therefore makes the perfect privacy screen which reduces noise and wind from entering your garden.
  4. It makes a wonderful, single species hedge but it is frequently combined with other species as a member of a mixed native feature.
  5. You can trim this species into a variety of shapes or kept tidy for a formal aesthetic. Alternatively, you can leave this plant to grow into a bushy form for a more naturalistic look. It look fantastic either way.
  6. Although it’s deciduous, its rusted leaves hold onto its branches throughout winter giving some year-round cover.
  7. Being native, Hornbeam is wildlife friendly. Its dense and thick foliage makes a perfect nesting site and as it holds its leaves throughout winter, it provides a safe and secure habitat for garden wildlife during the cold season.
  8. It produces long catkins in late spring which turn into small fruits feeding heaps of British birds.
  9. Available in every root type, you can purchase Hornbeam as cell grown, pot grown, bare roots, root balls and instant hedges.
  10. Hornbeam is particularly suitable for clay/wet soils and will thrive in fully shaded areas. It can withstand windy sites however Carpinus Betulus is not suitable for coastal position.

green turning brown

Facts you may not know about Hornbeam:

The name Hornbeam comes from the hardness of its timber – ‘horn’ means ‘hard’ and ‘beam’ was the name for a tree in old English.

View our Best4hedging YouTube channel to find more species specific videos as well as helpful how-to guides and planting advice.

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