Carpinus betulus (Common Hornbeam) seeds
Versatile native tree which makes a magnificent feature tree and is also ideal as a hedge or pleached tree for screening. Very robust and will tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. The ribbed leaves are a bright, fresh green in spring, turning honey yellow, then brown in autumn and persisting well into winter. Green catkins appear in late spring and turn to fruit in autumn providing a useful food source for wildlife.
Ideal for hedges up to 5m and an excellent alternative to Beech where conditions are shady, boggy or windy. Moderate growth rate of 30-60cms/year. For a standard hedge, plant 30-45cm apart or for a denser hedge, plant in a staggered double row 40cms between rows and 45cms apart.
Easy to grow from seed (germination can take up to a year) and fully hardy when mature. Will need frost protection for the first couple of winters.
Height: Hedges up to 5m. Tree: 15-20m.
Packet of 30 seeds
These seeds have a double dormancy which needs to be broken before they will germinate, ie. they need to go through a process which simulates the changing seasons.
Sowing Instructions: Sow at any time of the year. Sow very thinly on the surface of moist seed compost and seal inside a polythene bag. Maintain an optimum temperature of 18-21C for 4 weeks, then place the container(s) in the fridge for a further 4 months. Then, return to 18-21C and germination should take place. Throughout this process check regularly and ensure the compost does not dry out. Note: Germination can be very erratic, so sow thinly and prick out the seedlings as they become large enough to handle disturbing the rest of the compost as little as possible.
Alternatively, sow as above, seal in a polythene bag and place in a cold frame or sheltered part of the garden and let nature take its course as the seasons change.
Growing Instructions: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm pots. The little trees are best grown on for a year or two in pots and protected from frost for at least the first winter. Care should also be taken to protect them from late spring frosts which can be very damaging. Plant out once established in any position.
For a standard hedge, plant 30-45cm apart or for a denser hedge, plant in a staggered double row 40cms between rows and 45cms apart.