Hornbeam (carpinus betulus)
2 grams (approx 48 seeds) £1.10
5 grams (approx 121 seeds) £1.65
10 grams (approx 242 seeds) £2.25
25 grams (approx 605 seeds) £3.00
50 grams (approx 1210 seeds) £4.50
100 grams (approx 2420 seeds) £7.50
250 grams (approx 6050 seeds) £15.00
Although these seeds are from a good source they are not approved for forestry use
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Although it prefers a deep open loam including chalk it is also suitable for heavy wet soils and is happy over a wide range of pH values even very alkaline soils and also frost pockets. It is however not suitable for coastal planting.
It is a native tree to all of Europe, including Britain, from Sweden to the Pyrenees east to Iran. It can growing to 25m (82ft) by 20m (65ft) at a medium rate but its size can be controlled by pruning and it responds well to coppicing and pollarding and also makes a fine hedge which will retain the dead brown leaves through the winter, especially if pruned in late summer.
Produces green catkins from late spring to autumn, turning to clusters of winged fruit in autumn providing food for wildlife. Shallow rooted and very shade tolerant, the tree itself casts a deep shade that little else can grow in. Dormant trees are very cold hardy and the young growth is not usually damaged by late spring frosts. It is however not suitable for exposed upland sites and occurs naturally only at elevations up to 600 metres.
The seed naturally has a deep dormancy which requires a degree of patience to overcome, full details on how to do this are sent with every order.
Germination, Sowing and After Care Information for
Hornbeam (carpinus betulus)
First prepare a free draining substrate into which the seeds are to be mixed, this can be a 50/50 mixture of compost and sharp sand, or perlite, vermiculite. The chosen substrate needs to be moist (but not wet), if you can squeeze water out of it with your hand it is too wet and your seeds may drown and die. Mix the seeds into the substrate, making sure that their is enough volume of material to keep the seeds separated.
Place the seed mixture into a clear plastic bag (freezer bags, especially zip-lock bags are very useful for this -provided a little gap is left in the seal for air exchange) If it is not a zip-lock type bag it needs to be loosely tied. Then write the date on the bag so that you know when the pre treatment was started.
The seeds first require a period of warm pretreatment and need to be kept in temperatures of 20 Celsius (68F) for a period of at least 4 weeks - it is not critical if it lasts a week or two longer than this. During this time make sure that the pretreatment medium does not dry out at any stage or it will be ineffective!
Next the seeds require a cold period to break the final part of the dormancy, this is easily achieved by placing the bag in the fridge (4 Celsius or 39F) for around 24 weeks. It is quite possible for the seeds to germinate in the bag at these temperatures when they are ready to do so, if they do, just remove them from the bag and carefully plant them up.
When the period of pre treatment has finished the seed should be ready to be planted. Small quantities can be sown in pots or seed trays filled with a good quality compost and cover them with a thin layer of comost no more than 1cm deep. For larger quantities it is easiest to sow the seeds in a well prepared seedbed outdoors once the warm and cold pre treatments have finished and wait for the seeds to appear.
It has also been found that fluctuating pre treatment temperatures can give the best germination results and I have myself had excellent results by keeping the mixed seeds in a cold shed through the winter for the cold stage of their pre treatment and allowing the temperature to fluctuate naturally. Ungerminated seeds can have the whole warm and cold process repeated again to enable more seeds to germinate.
Do not expose newly sown seeds to high temperatures (above 25 Celsius). Keep the seedlings well watered and weed free. Growth in the first year is usually between 15 and 50cm depending on the time of germination and cultural techniques and developing seedlings are usually trouble free. Allow them to grow for 1 or 2 years before planting them in a permanent position.