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Pyramid Hornbeam Carpinus Betulus Lucas

Description & features

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Product description

CARPINUS BETULUS LUCAS – Pyramid Hornbeam

Characteristics

This is one of the newer of the upright clones of European Hornbeam which has very regular and upright growth.  It has been chosen as an alternative to Carpinus Frans Fontaine, to which is closely related for the winter leaf retention, which does not occur in either C. Frans Fontaine or the much older variety C. Fastigiata.

For this reason it is much more useful as a screening tree, either as a narrow hedge that will need little clipping or as a pleached tree.

It is expected that this new cultivar will reach 10m (30ft) and is always densely branched and narrow.

Where to grow

Pyramid Hornbeam will grow well in full sun or shade.  It will quite happily cope with damp even moist soils and a certain amount of temporary waterlogging. It’s neat shape and upright form lend it to use as formal avenues and topiary.

Did you know?

Only introduced from a Belgian nursery, Louis Houtmeyers in 2003 and named after Louis’s son Lucas.  It has been quickly adopted as an exciting addition to the palate of screening trees.

Features

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Fastigiate
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Winter
Summer
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Small leaves
Hedging
Holds its leaves
Moisture levels
Wet/Water logged sites
Uses
Screening
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Wind break
Sound Barrier

Features

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
Spread
0-5 metres
Shape / habit
Fastigiate
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty / hard to grow
Easy
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Winter
Summer
Autumn colour
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Foliage
Dense
Small leaves
Hedging
Holds its leaves
Moisture levels
Wet/Water logged sites
Uses
Screening
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Wind break
Sound Barrier

Aftercare

Pruning Carpinus betulus Lucas

Trained as a standard, Carpinus betulus Lucas has a narrowly compact crown. The standard form is achieved over the course of a few years by gradually removing low lateral growth to leave a clear stem. The tree can take a hard pruning, but new growth can be twiggy so only do so if necessary.

A row of fastigiate hornbeams can also be trained as a stilted hedge by planting the trees 1.2-2m apart and trimming to the desired shape. The foliage will need trimming twice a year to maintain a pleached or stilted hedge form.

When should I prune? Trees can be pruned from late summer through to midwinter. Branches removed while the tree is in active growth may lead to bleeding. Hedges should be trimmed twice a year, in early summer and early autumn, to maintain a neat shape.

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


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