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Hornbeams are fast-growing trees, but they don't grow very tall compared to other trees. For this they get a sprawling crown. If you want to grow a hornbeam as a single tree in the garden, you should take the later size into account.

If the hornbeam is not slowed down in its growth, it can grow up to 25 meters or even higher

A hornbeam grows that high without cutting

If left to its own devices without pruning, a hornbeam will grow up to 25 to 30 meters in height.

The growth is quite rapid. The hornbeam grows between 30 and 40 centimeters per year.

Desired height of the hornbeam by pruning

If you have little space in the garden or are growing the hornbeam as a hedge, you will have to cut the hornbeam regularly to prevent it from growing to its full height.

How high you leave the hornbeam is up to you. You can also bring hornbeam hedges to a height of just 70 centimeters if you like.

Shorten hornbeams in height

If the hornbeam has grown too tall, you will need at least one saw to trim it. The best time for this pruning is early spring. A frost-free day in February is favourable.

You can simply cut the trunk of the hornbeam. The tree will sprout again very quickly.

But keep in mind that the hornbeam grows quickly. If you want a final height of two meters, cut the tree back to 1.50 meters. With new growth, the hornbeam quickly reaches the desired height.

Underplanting of tall trees

In the wild, hornbeams very often grow in the shade of larger trees. They shade the trunks of their neighbors and prevent them from suffering from too much sunlight.

Hornbeams tolerate a lot of shade themselves, as the treetops of the neighboring trees keep out the light. The hornbeam still tries to orient itself to the light. That is why you often find hornbeams with very crooked trunks in the forest or on field edges.


A hornbeam that you want to trim regularly into shape should not be allowed to grow too tall. Not only does it take up a lot of space. Care is also made more difficult because you need a ladder or even scaffolding to cut.

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