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Hornbeam Hedge Plants

Hornbeam hedge plants, also known as Carpinus betulus are one of the most popular, deciduous hedging species in the UK. Featuring attractive green foliage that turns golden yellow during the Autumn and is retained throughout the winter.


Popular varieties of Hornbeam Hedge Plants

Choose from our most popular varieties of Hornbeam Hedging plants, available in a range of sizes and root types.

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Hornbeam Hedge

Hornbeam Hedge

(Carpinus betulus)

Hornbeam is a popular deciduous hedging plant, having beautiful green leaves with deep veins that turn golden in the autumn and are retained throughout the winter.

Growth rate: Fast 30-60cm per year

Overall height: Medium up to 5 metres

Position: Exposed, Full Sun, Full Shade, Sheltered

Root Types: Bare Root, Instant Hedging, Pot Grown

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What is a Hornbeam Hedge?

Hornbeam hedge is a popular hedging plant for gardeners who want to create a natural fence or boundary around their property. The hornbeam Carpinus betulus plant species is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 40 feet tall. However, when pruned regularly, it can also be trained to grow as a dense and compact hedge featuring green catkins. Hornbeam leaves also have attractive serrated edges that turn golden in autumn months.

Hornbeam hedging is known for its elegant appearance, featuring bright green leaves that turn golden yellow in the fall. They are also incredibly versatile, with the ability to grow in a variety of soil types and light conditions, and are shade tolerant. Additionally, hornbeam hedging is very low-maintenance and requires minimal pruning to maintain its shape and density.

Our Hornbeam plants are supplied as bare root hedging, pot grown plants, root ball and instant hedging. The most cost effective and environmentally friendly way to plant a new hedge is by using bare root hedging plants with an exposed root system, available from October to April.


Benefits of a Hornbeam Hedging Plants

There are many benefits to planting a hornbeam hedge in your garden, including:

  • Privacy: A hornbeam hedge can provide a natural barrier between your property and the outside world, offering privacy and seclusion from neighbours and passersby.
  • Wind Protection: The dense foliage of a hornbeam hedge can also help to protect your garden from strong winds, preventing damage to delicate plants and flowers.
  • Noise Reduction: Hornbeam hedging plants can also absorb sound, making them an ideal choice for gardens located in noisy areas or near busy roads.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: With their elegant appearance and versatility, hornbeam hedges can add visual interest and curb appeal to any garden.
  • Year Round Interest: Hornbeam hedges offer year-round interest and colour, with lush green foliage in the summer months, golden leaves in the fall and winter frost on its bare branches.
  • Wildlife friendly: Hornbeam hedges are also beneficial for wildlife, providing shelter and protection for birds, mammals and insects.

How to Plant Hornbeam Hedge

Planting a new hornbeam hedge is a relatively straightforward process. Here's a few tips on what you need to do:

  1. Choose a location: Hornbeam grow in a variety of normal soil types and light conditions, but they prefer well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade.
  2. Prepare the soil: Before planting, make sure to prepare the soil by removing any weeds or grass and loosening the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches.
  3. Planting the hedge: Dig a trench that is at least 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Planting distances and planting density depends upon the root type, but the general rule of thumb is to use three plants to five plants per metre in a single row in the trench, making sure that the soil around the roots is well-compacted. If you require a wider final hedge you can use a staggered double row of plants or simply choose larger plant sizes to start your hedge.
  4. Water and mulch: After planting, make sure to water the trees thoroughly and add a layer of mulch around the base of the trees to help retain moisture and prevent weeds.

Pruning and caring for Your Hornbeam Hedge Plants

Once your hornbeam hedge is established, it will require minimal maintenance. Here are a few tips to help keep your hedge healthy and looking its best:

  • Water regularly: Hornbeam hedges prefer well-draining soil but still require regular watering, especially during dry spells.
  • Fertilize annually: To promote healthy growth, apply a balanced fertilizer to your hornbeam hedge once a year in the spring.
  • Prune regularly: Regular pruning is essential to maintaining the shape and density of your hornbeam hedge. Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth appears.
  • Pest and disease control: While hornbeam hedges are generally resistant to pests and diseases, they may still be vulnerable to certain issues. Keep an eye out for signs of insect infestations or fungal growth, and take steps to address them promptly.
  • Winter protection: While hornbeam hedges are hardy and can tolerate cold temperatures, young hedges may require winter protection in harsh climates. Consider wrapping the trees with burlap or other protective materials to help prevent damage from frost or snow.
  • Pruning: To maintain the shape and density of your hornbeam hedge, make sure to prune it regularly during the growing season. In addition to regular pruning, you may need to perform maintenance pruning on your hornbeam hedge to remove dead or damaged branches and promote healthy growth.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hornbeam Hedges

When to prune hornbeam hedges?

Hornbeam hedges should be pruned before the leaves fall, normally around September.

How fast do hornbeam hedges grow?

Hornbeam hedges typically have an average growth rate of 30-60cm per year, depending on the growing conditions and pruning schedule.

Can hornbeam hedges be grown in containers?

While hornbeam hedges are typically grown in the ground, they can also be grown in containers with proper care and maintenance.

When is the best time to prune a hornbeam hedge?

The best time to prune a hornbeam hedge is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

How tall can a hornbeam hedge grow?

Hornbeam hedges can grow up to 40 feet tall if left unpruned, but can also be trained to grow as a compact hedge.

Are hornbeam hedges low-maintenance?

Yes, hornbeam hedges are relatively low-maintenance and require minimal pruning and fertilization to thrive.


A hornbeam hedge is a beautiful and versatile plant species that can add privacy, wind protection, noise reduction, and aesthetic appeal to any garden. By following the planting and care tips outlined in this article, you can enjoy a healthy and vibrant hornbeam hedge for years to come. So why wait? Plant a hornbeam hedge in your garden today and enjoy the many benefits it has to offer!

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