Carpinus betulus, more commonly referred to as a Hornbeam, is a moderately-sized tree. The Fastigiata, or ‘upright’, variety grows in a narrow shape, which can be pruned for growing in a hedge as seen above. The hornbeam has no major insect or disease problems, and its dark green leaves turn yellow-orange in the fall.
Light Needs: Full sun to part shade
Watering Needs: Moderate watering as needed
Average Size: 30 to 40 feet
Why we love this plant: The Fastigiata Hornbeam is an excellent choice when grown in a hedge and a good deciduous alternative to arborvitae and juniper. They will withstand heavy pruning, allowing them to stay well manicured, as seen in the example above. The dark-green foliage makes a nice backdrop, and adds fall interest when the leaves turn to yellow-orange. In winter, the smooth gray bark and distinctive fluting of the trunk is even more notable.