QuestionsHow to growTrees and ShrubsChoosing trees and shrubsHornbeam not retaining leaves
Last Feb I planted a long Carpinus Betulas hedge using bareroot plants. It is growing well but this winter a minority of the plants have lost 100% of their leaves while the other plants have retained most of theirs. They all look identical to me but could they be different varieties? I want screening in Winter so should I replace the plants which lost leaves or will they ‘grow out’ of this problem if I leave them alone?
Hornbeam hedging is grown from seed and therefore each plant has separate genetics and some slight variations. SOme are better than others at hodling leaves.
But other factors come into play … plants that are vigorous are more likely to hold leaves and older hedges often hold them better.
The site has an influence too, leaves being lost on an exposed site, and the weather can affect the trees, a good warm autumn and mild winter tending improve leaf retention.
Having said all that, hornbeam is generally not reliable for holding its leaves in the same way as beech, and hedges are often bare.