WSU Clark County Extension

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Pyramidal European Hornbeam

Scientific name: Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata'

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:5 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:45 ft
Width:30 ft
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description European Hornbeam is characterized by crisp clean green foliage during the summer followed by brilliant yellow in the fall. It has a naturally sheared appearance.

This is a deciduous tree that matures to 45’ in height and 30’ in width. Over time it forms a neat and tidy pyramidal shape. It does not form a central leader but the branches seem to know to follow a very well defined growth habit.

The leaves are 1.5” to 3.5” inches long. They are arranged in an alternate fashion and have a double serrated margin.

Hop shaped flowers (cream colored)are born in the spring and hang on the trees into the summer.

The wood of hornbeam is dense and strong. In the 1800’s the early American pioneers used this species to make tool handles and parts for horse drawn wagons.

This species can survive in some shade but does best in full sun. It is an ideal urban tree in that once it has been established it will tolerate drought and urban pollution.

This is an ideal boulevard tree in that it won’t interfere with traffic, it does not have surface rooting and it does not lift sidewalks. It could be used to form a screen if planted close together.

All across the United States this tree is considered pest free.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234