Carpinus betulus Rockhampton Red®

  • Height 10 years: 3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • Leaf colour - autumn: Orange / Red

Rockhampton Red is a form of the common Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, named for its vibrant orange-red autumn leaf colours - most Hornbeams turn yellow in the autumn.

The new spring leaves are also attractive - they are deeply ribbed, and an intense fresh green colour.

The tree bears pale green catkins in late spring, which turn into winged nuts.

Rockhampton Red was discovered as a chance seedling at the Mount Pleasant Farm and Forestry nursery in Rockhampton, Gloucestershire.


Rockhampton Red trees for sale

Deliveries from week commencing 25th November 2019 (or December for bare-root).

Height in 10 years
Price inc. VAT
2-year Rockhampton Red tree - in a 12L pot
2.5m-3.5m tall after 10 years

How to grow

Hornbeams do best on lighter well-drained soils with plenty of moisture, but will grow well in almost any soil. The one thing they cannot tolerate is standing water.

Rockhampton Red should be planted in full sun. The best autumn colour occurs in seasons when the September and October weather is sunny but nights are cold.

Hornbeams are somewhat similar to beech and can be used for similar purposes. Rockhampton Red can be lightly pruned in the summer and this will encourage the leaves to remain on the tree over the winter after turning brown, rather than falling. It can be hard-pruned at any time if necessary.

Hornbeam can easily be grown as a hedge, and Rockhampton Red is an excellent choice for this purpose, with the added bonus of the spectacular autumn colours. Plant anywhere from 40cm - 1m apart, and in good conditions the hedge could reach 5m or so. It is also a good choice if you want to try pleaching - in effect, a hedge with a length of clear stem before the foliage begins.


Rockhampton Red characteristics


  • Attractive features: Attractive bark Autumn foliage colour
  • Height 10 years: 3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • Growth rate: Average
  • Vigour: Average vigour
  • Site conditions: Occasional flooding
  • Useful for: Hedging Open spaces
  • Hardiness rating (RHS): H6 (to -20C)
  • Pruning: Prune hard
  • Gardening skill: Suitable for beginners


  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Leaf colour - young: Green
  • Leaf colour - autumn: Orange / Red
  • Annual cycle: Deciduous
  • Bark: Grey
QR code for Hornbeam - Rockhampton Red for sale