tree barkCommon Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). It is a small to medium-size tree reaching heights of 15-25m and often has a fluted and crooked trunk. The bark is smooth and greenish-grey.

leafThe leaves are alternate, oval 4-9cm long with a serrated edge. Prominent veins give a distinctive corrugated texture. Leaves turn a golden yellow to brilliant orange in the autumn.

catkins The wind pollinated male and female catkins appear on the same tree in May. The fruit is a small 7-8mm long nut, partially surrounded by a three-pointed leafy involucre 3-4cm long; it matures in the autumn. seeds

The wood of the hornbeam is extremely hard and is not widely used for timber due to the difficulty in working it. The wood was valuable for fuel as it burnt hot enough to smelt iron.