Summer 2024You can now pre-order for next season. Deliveries will begin again in September for pot grown trees and December for bare-rooted or mixed tree orders.
Pippin Trees banner logoChoose from over 280 flowering cherries, crab apples, rowans and other ornamental trees.

Rockhampton Red®

Carpinus betulus

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 best autumn leaf colour occurs in seasons when the September and October weather is warm and sunny but nights are cold. In mild overcast autumns the leaf colours will be muted.

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 hornbeam for sale

  • 2-year pot-grown tree £78.00
    In a 12L pot
    Very large size (4m-7m after 10 years)
You can now pre-order for next season.

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.

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


Rockhampton Red characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Attractive featuresAttractive barkAutumn foliage colour
  • Height after 10 years3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • SunlightPrefers full sun
  • PruningPrune hard
  • Growth rateAverage
  • Site conditionsOccasional flooding
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Leaf colour - autumnOrange / Red
  • BarkGrey
  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Annual cycleDeciduous