Carpinus Betulus or European Hornbeam is a small to medium-size tree reaching heights of 15-25 m, rarely 30 m, and often has a fluted and crooked trunk. The bark is smooth and greenish-grey, even in old trees. The buds, unlike those of the beech, are 10 mm long at the most, and pressed close to the twig. The leaves are alternate, 4-9 cm long, with prominent veins giving a distinctive corrugated texture, and a serrated margin. Shade-loving tree, which prefers moderate soil fertility and moisture. Buds from old wood easily. Seed requires a three step stratification. First, 90 days warm moist pre-treatment, followed by a process of soaking in warm water for 24 hours, and finally 60-90 days cold-moist stratification.
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