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CARPINUS BETULUS LUCAS – Pyramid Hornbeam
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.
- Small - 5-10 metres
- 0-5 metres
Shape / Habit
- All soil types
- Full sun
- Partial shade
Difficulty / Hard to Grow
Evergreen / Deciduous
- Small leaves
- Garden Tree
- Small garden Tree
- City/Urban Sites
- Wind break
- Sound Barrier
- Holds its leaves
- Wet/Water logged sites
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.
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.
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 that for at least 3 years after planting your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one metre wide completely free of grass.
- Mulch mats are an effective way to stop grass and weeds, although they will require a careful eye to make sure they continue to work. After clearing the ground around the tree, firmly fit the mat by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this. Be careful not to allow the woodchip to touch the stem as it can cause rot.
- Weed killer is very effective, however it is harmful to the environment. Organic weed killers usually do not kill roots. Weed killer needs to be applied each year for the first 3 years, preferably when the tree is dormant, or just once before applying a mulch mat.
- 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.
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.
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.
Are the delivery costs the same no matter how many plants I order?
Yes the delivery costs are the same no matter how many plants you have on your order. They are worked out based on your distance from our nursery and can be found here.