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Carpinus betulus – pleached (screening tree)

Grown on frames to achieve that unique screening effect, these trees are sold in a variety of different styles. Given the number of different options available and the time taken to grow and train these trees, they are offered as a bespoke service. Please use the button below to advise us of your requirements.

RHS Award of Garden Merit


A wonderful, deciduous tree which is ideal for hedging or pleaching.  The fresh green leaves emerge in spring and colour is retained throughout the summer, before the whole tree turns to golden yellow in the autumn.   The leaf has a sharply double serrated edge and the leaf top tapers to a point. Catkins open in spring, followed by hop-like fruiting catkins to 8cm.   The tree develops a smooth, fluted grey trunk when mature.


‘Pleached’ trees are effectively hedges on stilts and create a superb way to screen windows, or indeed whole gardens from neighbours or eye sores. As such they are a cost effective and very natural way of screening, being far cheaper and more instant than, say building a brick wall, which often needs planning permission.

A wide range of trees are grown as ready pleached trees, and can be evergreen or deciduous.

They are usually available in three styles:

  • ‘Standard’ with a 1.8m (6’) clear stem or trunk before the trained canopy starts. Usually the canopy is a square 1.2m (4’) x 1.2m but larger ones are sometimes available.
  •  ‘Half standard;’ with a 0.9m (3’)-1.2m (4’) clear stem before the canopy starts.
  •  ‘Panel’ where the canopy is trained almost from the ground to two or even three meters in height’ 

With these different styles and the various species that are available, the options are numerous. But with the time taken to grow and train these trees to create ‘the instant hedge on stilts,’  sourcing the trees is offered as a bespoke service.

Full Tree Specifications

Mature Size: not applicable

Flowering Period: spring

Time to maturity: these trees come trained to a specific height

Habit / Shape: pleached (screening tree)

Flower colour: green

Weather exposure: happy anywhere

Foliage colour:

  • green
  • yellow

Season of Interest:

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn

Soil Moisture:

  • moist but well-drained soil
  • well-drained soil
  • dry soil

Soil acidity/alkalinity: happy anywhere

Bark colour:

  • grey bark
  • Soil Type:

    • chalk
    • clay
    • I don't have a clue
    • loam
    • sand


    • full sun
    • partial shade
    • shade


    • happy anywhere

    Tree features:

    • attractive bark
    • autumn leaf colour
    • attractive fruit / berries / nuts / pods

    Possible pests, diseases, problems:

    • caterpillars
    • aphids
    • coral spot
    • powdery mildews


    • anniversary
    • Christening
    • christmas
    • memorial
    • Retirement
    • wedding

    Common Name(s):

    • Hornbeam
    • Common hornbeam
    • European hornbeam

    • Regularly tie in new growth to frame
    • Extend frame with additional bamboo canes as required
    • Prune lightly at end of summer to maintain shape
    • Regular watering is essential from Spring until Autumn
    • Check monthly that tree has not rocked
    • Loosen and re tie tree ties annually
    • Keep weed free, and mulch annually