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CARPINUS betulus 'Fastigiata'

Image of Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata'

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Betulaceae

Botanical Name

CARPINUS betulus 'Fastigiata'

Plant Common Name

European Hornbeam, Upright European Hornbeam

General Description

A stately tree with gray branches and trunk, the upright European hornbeam has glossy green foliage and produces interesting strings of yellow-brown fruits in fall. This tall, oval-canopied deciduous tree is native to much of Europe and eastward into Asia Minor. Although named 'Fastigiata', the mature form of this selection is oval to pyramidal, not a tall, narrow, upright spire.

The leaves are oval and have unequal but doubled rows of teeth on their edges. Veins are very depressed and the upper leaf side is a dull, deep green, while the underside is a lighter shiny green. These leaves are held late into fall and may color yellow-green to gold, and in some locales to shades of orange-red. The flowers are not ornamental but are interesting, since they appear as catkins - drooping strands of either male or female gender. These catkins appear in spring prior to leaves emerging. Once pollinated by the wind, the female flowers become long strands of green fruits with three lobed bracts that turn yellowish brown by autumn.

Grow European hornbeam in full sun to light shade in any average, well-draining soil with good fertility. Tolerant of urban conditions, it makes a nice street or shade tree and it also handles heavy pruning well, leading it to be sometimes used as a tall, imposing and stately hedgerow.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    40'-50' / 12.2m - 15.2m

  • Width

    30'-40' / 9.1m - 12.2m

  • Native To

    Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe, Turkey

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Green

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Yellow Green, Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    Gray, Slate Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Hedges, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees, Street Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No