Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine’ is another upright variety of Hornbeam which retains its tight pyramidal shape as it matures.
This Hornbeam, like others, has oval leaves, ribbed and serrated around the edges. The foliage is a bright green in spring, turning to gold and orange in autumn. Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine’ is a better choice for planting in restricted areas than Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’ as it retains its columnar shaped crown, and narrow width reaching only 3m wide after 25 years.
Tolerant of pollution and soil compaction, it makes an excellent choice for avenue planting with classic uniformity and architectural shape and lovely autumn colour. This medium to large upright Hornbeam is a tough performer and will do well in most soils, including clay and chalk. A good choice for poor soil conditions.
Useful for screening, feathered trees have branches to the base and should be planted at 80-120cm centres to form an instant screen or hedge. Once planted, the trees can be allowed to grow to the hedge height required and then the leader can be removed which will encourage bushy regrowth.
Mature height: 12-17m