George W's picture

Distinguishing Hornbeam (Photo 1) from Beech

Observed: 30th January 2011 By: George WGeorge W’s reputation in PlantsGeorge W’s reputation in PlantsGeorge W’s reputation in Plants
Hornbeam  - Photo 1
Hornbeam - Photo 2
Beech - Photo 3
Description:

The bark and leaves of the Beech tree and Hornbeam tree are very similar. I have looked for examples of each which will help to illustrate a difference to look for. The Hornbeam is smooth but has dark and light areas running up and down the trunk (photos 1 and 2). The Beech (photo 3) is smooth and even coloured.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) interacts

Comments

Jonathan's picture

I always think that the

I always think that the distinguishing feature of a hornbeam trunk is the way that it seems to consist of twisted sinews, whereas a beech is smooth and not fluted. You can see this in the first two photos, but not in the third. Is this a beech?

The leaves are also rather different when compared side-by-side, but of course this is not always possible.

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Michael Norman's picture

nice pic

nice pic

m norman

George W's picture

Reply to Jonathan

Yes, you are correct, photo 3 is a beech. If you hold your curser on it the name should come up on your screen.

Regards
George

Jonathan's picture

Oh, good! I didn't cheat.

Oh, good! I didn't cheat. Honest!

Jonathan
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)