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Carpinus betulus fastigiata or Upright Hornbeam Tree
The Carpinus betulus fastigiata, also commonly called the Upright Hornbeam Tree or fastigiate hornbeam tree, grows in a pyramid shape. It has a unique growth habit that produces no central leader but only features branches that fan outward to produce a column shape that makes it ideal for landscape uses such as a windbreak, hedging, garden focal point or screen.
The foliage sizes on the Upright Hornbeam Tree vary in size which creates visual contrast. The heavily serrated leaves measure from almost four centimeters to nine centimeters in length. During the spring and summer months, the foliage of the tree is a bright, crisp mint green. When autumn arrives the leaves turn a brilliant yellow hue.
In the early spring, the fastigiate hornbeam tree does produce a bevy of nondescript flowers that are exceptionally tiny and white in colour. After flowering, tiny hard brown fruits appear that are a favourite diet for songbirds, squirrels, and other garden visitors.
In the winter, after the Upright Hornbeam has shed its leaves, the bark of the tree is visually pleasing. Its bark is a soft grey shade and exceptionally thick with a ripple appearance. During Roman times, the hardwood of the Upright Hornbeam tree was used in the construction of chariots and yokes for oxen. The tree grows throughout North America and was also commonly used by the American frontiersmen for use in farm tools, wagons and homestead construction.
The Carpinus betulus fastigiata grows to a height of up to 12 meters with a canopy spread of around 6 meters. It has a slow, steady growth rate when planted in a sunny or partially shaded location. The tree tolerates a wide array of soil conditions such as clay or sand. It will also withstand acidic or alkaline soil equally. It prefers a planting location that is well-draining but it can withstand periods of excessively wet roots without suffering adverse side effects. The tree’s tolerance for areas of poor drainage makes it a favourite tree to plant in locations that are frequently prone to flooding. Once established, the Upright Hornbeam tree requires no additional care or irrigation. It can easily subsist on nature’s rainfall.
The Upright Hornbeam requires no pruning to maintain its pleasing shape. However, it will tolerate pruning or topping if you need to maintain a certain height size or shape in the garden.
If you are seeking an attractive tree that is exceptionally drought hardy and pest resistant then the Upright Hornbeam will not disappoint. It can easily be used in a variety of landscape situations.