Hornbeam - Carpinus betulus


It is a medium-sized plant widespread in Europe, North America and Asia, in nature it can reach a height of thirty meters.
It has light green leaves, small, oval, pleated, which in autumn are colored yellow. The bark is light brown to gray, the branches are usually long and thin. The crown develops in a conical shape. It is a very rustic plant, which does not require special care with regard to cultivation, very recommended for beginners. For bonsai also the varieties C. Laxiflora, with red leaves and C. Turczaninowii with small leaves are used.

Pruning and exposure

Pruning: the most vigorous prunings are carried out at the end of winter, when the plant has lost its leaves, in this period the wire is applied. During the growing season, the buds are clipped leaving 1-2 leaves, and the larger leaves are eliminated. The hornbeam produces many shoots, therefore it is appropriate to follow their growth carefully.
Exposure: the hornbeam has no major exposure problems, it usually arises in the sun, avoiding however to leave it in the hottest periods of the summer, even if it tolerates the very dry climate well.

Hornbeam - Carpinus betulus: Other tips

Watering: watering must be frequent, but moderate, waiting for the soil to dry between one watering and another; it suffers more from excess water than from deficiencies. In the hottest periods of the year, spray the leaves with distilled water, possibly in the early morning or evening.
Soil: it has no particular needs, it adapts well to any soil, preferring clay soils; to prepare an ideal compote mix one part of peat, one part of sand and three parts of clay. It is advisable to repot it every two or three years, at the end of winter, before the vegetative restart.
Multiplication: occurs by sowing fresh seeds in autumn; in spring it is possible to take semi-woody cuttings, to be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts.
Pests and diseases: it is almost never attacked by pests and diseases; sometimes the lanigeri aphids settle on the youngest shoots.