Franz Fontaine Columnar Hornbeam Tree
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Franz Fontaine Columnar Hornbeam Tree
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Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Exposure: Full Sunlight - Deep Shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Franz Fontaine Columnar Hornbeam

Carpinus betulus 'Frans Fontaine'
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How large is this tree? View the Size Guide.

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A tough tree with a stately appearance, Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam gets the job done with style. This is a formal-looking, upright-growing tree that assumes a tightly columnar shape in youth, becoming a wider oval after many years. It makes an elegant, sturdy street tree or a fine screening tree in time. Amenable to heavy pruning, you can even shear Frans Fontaine annually to maintain it as a slim, tidy hedge. Plant a whole row along your property line to block views into your home and outdoor living space. Long-lived and trouble-free.

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Exposure: Full Sunlight - Deep Shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • Show more ›

Recommended by Our Growers

The Story

Because of its rock-hard wood (“horn” alludes to hardness, while “beam” is an Old English word for “tree”), Hornbeam has played many roles in human life. Through the ages, it has found its way into tool handles, butcher blocks, spokes, yokes, and piano keys. These days, it is more likely to live out its days as a hedge or screen. Frans Fontaine is a special, upright-oval selection found in the Netherlands. It may be a bit narrower than the older variety known as the Columnar European Hornbeam.

The Details

In autumn, the dark green leaves of Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam turn a warm golden color, providing a nice counterpoint to the fiery Maples and Red Oaks. The color typically lasts into November. Often, the dried leaves will hold on into the winter, providing extended screening coverage.

How to Grow

A caveat: that slender young Frans Fontaine European Hornbeam will get big— around 40 feet tall and 25 feet wide by some estimates. It’s not a fast growing tree, so it won’t happen overnight, but if you plan on keeping this plant at a certain size, be prepared to do some clipping. Otherwise, this tree is low maintenance and easy to please. Give it a sunny site and soil that doesn’t stay soggy, and it will be happy. It can even play the part of hard-knock city tree, shrugging off pollution, poor soil, and drought.

More Info

Cold Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 5
Heat Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 9
Exposure Full Sunlight - Deep Shade
Avg Mature Height 40'
Avg Mature Width 20'
Growth Rate Slow
Leaf Color Green
Fall Leaf Color Gold
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Time Spring
Fruit Color N/A
Fruit Time N/A
Foliage Color Green
Bloom Time Spring
Cary Award Winner No
PA Gold Medal Award No
Attractive Bark No
Attracts Birds Yes
Attracts Butterflies Yes
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators Yes
Deer Resistant Yes
Drought Tolerant No
Dry, Poor Soils No
Edible Fruit No
Fragrant No
Groundcover No
Hedge/Windbreak No
Native No
Salt Tolerance/Seashore No
Seasonal Cut Branches No
Shade Tolerance Yes
Showy Flowers No
Specimen No
Urban Conditions Yes
Utility Line Trees No
Wet Moist Soils No
Winter Interest No
Woodland Garden No
Decor/Craft Use No

Size Guide

Size Guide Scale

Scale

Size: C

Size C

This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.

Size C Trees:

10-12' Tall. Grown in our #25 tree container. This tree has a nice thick trunk and will make an immediate impact on your landscape.

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Franz Fontaine Columnar Hornbeam Tree