Here are some examples of Pleached Hornbeam trees currently available. Click any image to enlarge or to send an enquiry about that specific plant.
The Hornbeam ‘Lucas’ is a relative newcomer (2003) It produces long slender branches, recovers well after pruning and generates new growth reasonably quickly. It is winter hardy. The cultivar suffers from very few diseases and therefore considered a tree for the future. It has a more upright fastigiate habit than common Carpinus betulus and is fast becoming a popular choice for Pleached Hornbeam.
The ‘Lucas’ is part of the Betulaceae family. A recent introduced cultivar by Louis Houtmeyers Boomkwekerijen in Eindhout Laakdaal Belgium in 2003. The tree is hardy and resistant to nearly all diseases so is a good choice when considering long term planting for the future. The tree exhibits all the advantages offered by the Common Hornbeam but is distinctly different due to its narrow upright habit which works very well in pleached trees, arches as well as box and block trees. It is often confused as fastigiate (which it is not) exhibiting the same benefits while still producing a dense crown. It has slightly larger leaves than the Common Hornbeam, measuring 8-11cm in length and its branches are elongated, grey/brown in colour and smooth to touch. Older growth from the previous season tends to turn grey in colour.
The foliage is dark green and ovate. In autumn the leaves turn a rich dark yellow colour. When ‘Lucas’ is managed in a formed sense, the tree holds onto the large majority of its leaves in the winter months. The tree recovers extremely well after pruning showing the same qualities as the Common Hornbeam. The ‘Lucas’ will grow happily in pretty much all soil conditions but if it had a preference it would choose loamy soil. Unlike Beech, it can withstand wet soil and a short period of flooding and it responds well being planted on sites where clay is dominant. Winter hardy and frost resistant, it tolerates windy exposed sites where other species respond less favorably.
Typically, in a natural woodland environment the tree will reach heights of 9-10m. Being a relatively small tree, it is quite used to being overshadowed by larger species. Shady sites are therefore no problem for the ‘Lucas’. Like the Common Hornbeam it tolerates paving but prefers not to have its roots covered entirely. We supply feathered trees, clear stem trees and pleached trees in this species. Available as rootball plants in the winter months, potted stock available while stocks last and cocoa rootball can be arranged for delivery throughout summer period by prior arrangement. Learn more at the woodland trust.
An important consideration when planting pleached or espalier trees in a straight line is the slope of the ground. Pleached or Espalier trees look their best when they are planted on flat or gently sloping ground. Doing so will line up the frames and stems and creating effect of one continuous line when viewed at all angles. Even on a gradual slope this effect can be achieved. However, with a slope of more than 10-12 degrees, it may be necessary to step the trees/frames when planting (the frames on freshly pleached trees can be manipulated to account for a sharper slope of perhaps 15 degree if necessary).
To create a good visual effect, it is important to line up the stems and frames (unless you are planting them in a circle or semi-circle). To start off the planting holes should measure roughly double the width of the rootball or pot….
Pleached trees or screen trees start life as a seedling or cutting, much like any other tree, being repotted or replanted a number of times in their formative years. They grow happily on the nursery with hundreds or even thousands of other trees. When the time is right, highly skilled nurserymen and woman go out into the field amongst the trees with tags in hand and pick the very best trees for pleaching. The criteria for choosing the best trees for training includes, selecting those with the straightest stems, healthy root stock and appropriately spreading and uninform crowns. Once tagged and lifted the trees are loaded onto trailers and sent to potting sheds for training. Read our full guide to pleaching trees here
Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.