The hornbeam tree is a deciduous plant belonging to the Birch family. Sometimes it develops as a “bush”.Despite the fact that the tree grows slowly, its size is impressive: with a trunk diameter of 40-80 cm, the height can reach 30 meters. With all this, the plant lives about 300 years.
Most of the hornbeam is found in the Northern Hemisphere: Europe, the Caucasus, the Iranian Highlands, Asia Minor, the Transcaucasus, preferring deciduous forests and places where a temperate climate prevails. Some specimens grow at an altitude of 2000 meters. In the genus there are more than 30 species of hornbeam and all have a decorative value.
It is easy to recognize the hornbeam tree( the photo and description is given below in detail) by its appearance. The bark on the trunks is gray and smooth. On some specimens it is covered with small cracks. There are also longitudinal ribs. In the process of growth, a dense crown about 9 m in diameter is formed from thin branches and an oval-shaped foliage with streaks and a toothed edge. Hornbeam leaves are very decorative and reach 10 cm in size. In summertime they are green, but with the arrival of autumn the color changes to purple or yellow.
As for the root system, it is very extensive and extends superficially, giving the tree a high resistance to winds.
Hornbeam begins to bear fruit when it is well strengthened. This is somewhere after 15-20 years.
By type monoecious plant. Simultaneously with the foliage, women's earrings are dissolved, which are then pollinated with the help of the wind. After flowering, woody fruits are formed with one seed.
As for conditions for good development, the tree prefers to grow on rich, friable limestone earth. But the moisture parameters depend on the variety: some hornbeam prefer a rather humid environment, others - dry.
The situation with shade tolerance is similar. In varieties that love the sun, near-root shoots are practically not formed, while shade-loving ones have a great variety.
Pests and diseases
Good news - the uninvited guests in the form of insects affect only sick and weakened plants. And then, you can meet only leaf or bark beetles.
Most often, a hornbeam tree is affected by cancerous growths, various rot, settling on shoots. Occurs and the emergence of spots on the foliage. In case of detection of fungal diseases, the plant is treated with herbicides. If the crown is affected by spotting, then the whole plant is treated with copper sulfate solution. Fallen leaves are collected and then burned.
As for stem cancer, which is formed when a tree is damaged by a marsupial fungus with the further formation of a cancer ulcer, in this case the plant cannot be saved. It is cut and burned.
The main application of hornbeam is planting in homestead territories or in parks as a bright accent. But if you look at antiquity, you can learn a lot of interesting things.
When burning wood does not produce smoke. That is why before it was often used in braziers at bakeries and pottery workshops.
Wood is often used in various industries:
- Solid handles for axes, shovels, rakes, knives, as well as combing bases are made of wood. Also it is used for cutting boards, flooring, parquet.
- Because of its high strength and durability, wood has found recognition in the furniture industry. True, along with the advantages there are a number of disadvantages. For example, the dependence of wood on the humidity of the environment leads to the fact that the product of a hornbeam is difficult to polish or cut. The wood must be treated with special means to prevent rotting. As for painting, after the manipulations no changes occur.
- Tree foliage often goes to cattle feed.
- Due to the fact that the tree lends itself well to pruning, it is often planted in parks, for enriching public gardens and alleys. Moreover, the specimens can be planted alone or in group plantings.
- Bark is used for tanning leather.
- And due to its slow growth and the ability to keep a "haircut" for a long time, hornbeam is often used to create bonsai.
- There are many essential oils in the leaves and bark. Therefore, they are often used in cosmetology.
Essential components are also present in the fruits of the hornbeam and, by the way, can be used in food.
Use in folk medicine
Recognition of the hornbeam tree found in alternative medicine. So, healers use in the treatment of foliage, bark and even tree flowers. This is due to its rich chemical composition. So, the hornbeam crown contains: tannins, coumarins, bioflavonoids, aldehydes, gallic acid, caffeic acid. The seeds are rich in vegetable fats, and many essential oils and ascorbic acid are found in the cortex. Juice is also rich in healthy ingredients, such as sugars and organic acids.
All mentioned parts of the plant go to the creation of healing medicines that are used in the treatment of female infertility, brain neoplasms, diarrhea, and problems with blood circulation in the brain. Also, the hornbeam is included in the fees applicable to abortion.
Maybe hornbeam is a medicinal plant, but you must not forget that official medicine does not contain drugs with hornbeam. Therefore, you should be cautious and not take drugs without first consulting a doctor.
Here we met with another interesting representative of the world of flora. Give your plot a little charm and plant a hornbeam. In addition, he has no special requirements for care.