Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata'
Common Name: common hornbeam
Type: Tree
Family: Betulaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 30.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: March
Bloom Description: Yellow (male) and green (female)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Air Pollution


Easily grown in medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Needs little pruning when grown as a tree, but responds well to hard pruning if grown as a hedge.

Noteworthy Characteristics

European hornbeam typically grows 40-60’ (less frequently to 80’) tall with a pyramidal to oval-rounded crown. ‘Fastigiata’, sometimes called Upright European hornbeam, displays a narrow, fastigiate form in youth, but gradually acquires a tear drop or oval-vase shape with age, typically maturing to 40’ tall and 30’ wide. ‘Fastigiata’ is much more common in commerce than the species. Ovate, toothed, bright medium green leaves (to 4” long) are clean and attractive throughout the growing season with little susceptibility to foliar diseases. Foliage turns yellow-orange in fall. Trunks have smooth gray bark and distinctive muscle-like fluting. Monoecious flowering catkins form in early spring before the foliage emerges. Male catkins are yellowish and female catkins are greenish. Fruits are small nutlets in 3-lobed bracts that appear in drooping 5” long clusters in summer. Betulus is the genus name for birch in reference to the birch-like characteristics of this species.


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Small tree for lawns and streets. Screens. Hedges.