Suitable Trees: Hornbeam

The Hornbeams (Carpinus) make great Bonsai, with species available throughout the northern hemisphere.

The Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) A deciduous tree reaching about 30m tall and living for around 150 years. The tree is Native to Europe and Asia Minor. The tree is often confused with the Beech which it resembles, however close inspection of the leaves will show that the edges of the Hornbeam's leaves are serrated (saw like) and the Beech's are smooth, often with fine hairs.

The American Hophornbeam (Ostyra virginiana) or Ironwood, comes from the eastern United States. In the ground it makes a medium-sized tree between 10 to 15m tall, having simple alternate leaves. Those leaves are 5 to 10cm long and about half as wide. While not a true hornbeam can be treated as one.

They like a slightly acidic soil and may do better in a compost used for Heathers. with a bit of grit added.

All Hornbeam will cope well in partial shade.

They will backbud easily, even on the trunk.

The Harnbeams are characterised by the fine "saw toothed" edges to their leaves.

A Cascade Hornbeam

Other species you may come across are:

Japanese Hornbeam (Carpinus japonica). Probably the best of the hornbeams for bonsai as in nature it is a smallish tree.The bark is probably the lightest of all the hornbeams.

Korean Hornbeam (Carpinus coreana) A small tree which makes a very beautiful bonsai. The leaves are small. It's Autumn color is wonderful when leaves are striped red and yellow.

Red-leaf Hornbeam (Carpinus laxiflora) The new shoots open with a red line between each vein of the green leaves.

Rock Hornbeam (Carpinus Turczaninovii) Good for bonsai, producing lots of fine branches.

White hair Hornbeam (Carpinus Tschonoskii).

Suitable Styles

(c) Allen. C. Roffey Wednesday, July 11, 2018 9:01