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Ostrya Carpinifolia, also known as European Hop Hornbeam, is a beautiful catkin producing tree suitable for smaller gardens. The Ostrya Carpinifolia tree is related to the common hornbeam and gets its name from the Greek work Ostura which means ‘bone’ and refers to its strong, hard timber. European Hop Hornbeam is a deciduous tree that drops its leaves when the first frosts arrive, but in spring produces oval, dark green leaves measuring ten centimetres in length. As autumn approaches these turn a buttery yellow green. In spring the ornamental European Hornbeam produces pale yellow flowers in spring that are male and female catkins which grow in length, gracefully hanging long racemes that produced the seeds which are actually nuts that resemble hops. European Hop Hornbeam produces an unusual and bright display that few other small trees can compete with.
How Hardy Is Ostrya Carpinifolia? European Hop Hornbeam is hardy in all of UK and northern Europe. It is very tough once established provided its roots are not water-logoed. It needs little care once mature.
How To Use Ostrya Carpinifolia This is a small to medium sized tree and a good choice if you can only pick one tree for your garden. From spring to the frosts it brings welcome colour and then throughout the winter provides a structural framework for solar lights. Hop Hornbeam is a good wildlife friendly tree. Birds enjoy its leafy, airy canopy plus the pretty catkins attract pollinators. Try planting spring flowering bulbs beneath such as snowdrop and primrose, or use it to shade ferns during the summer. If you want to create a private area in your overlooked garden Hop Hornbeam is a good choice as it won’t grow too large.
How To Care For Ostrya Carpinifolia European Hop Hornbeam tolerates most conditions. It prefers moist, fertile soil and a sunny to partially shady aspect, but will manage just about anywhere. Protect younger trees from gusty winds and mulch them once a year to encourage healthy growth. Newly planted trees will need plenty of water during their first year. It’s not usually necessary to prune Ostrya Carpinifolia. You can cut out any crossed, dead or diseased branches to maintain a healthy tree, but it will hold a naturally rounded canopy.