Hornbeam Trees

HORNBEAM  (Carpinus betulus)

Hornbeam is a deciduous broadleaf tree native to the south of the UK, but widely planted elsewhere. It is naturally found in Oak woodland, and is often coppiced or pollarded. [Woodland Trust]

Hornbeams yield a very hard timber, giving rise to the name "ironwood". Dried heartwood billets are nearly white and are suitable for decorative use. For general carpentry, Hornbeam is rarely used, partly due to the difficulty of working it. Its hardness has, however, lent it to use for carving boards, tool handles, handplane soles, coach wheels, piano actions, shoe lasts, and other uses where a very tough, hard wood is required. Perhaps most interestingly as gear pegs in simple machines, including traditional windmills. It is sometimes coppiced to provide hardwood poles. It is also used in parquet flooring and for making chess pieces. Hornbeam has been listed as one of the 38 substances used to prepare Bach flower remedies, a kind of alternative medicine promoted for its effect on health. However, according to Cancer Research UK, "there is no scientific evidence to prove that flower remedies can control, cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer". [Wikipedia]