Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’

(Question)

I am considering planting 2 Pyramidal European Hornbeam for the purpose of screening. I am getting conflicting opinions regarding planting time. Which is optimal, spring or autumn? How far apart should they be? I live in Oakville Ont.
Thank you

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.

I know how confusing it must be to receive conflicting answers. Spring is the best time to plant a tree. Deciduous trees should be planted as early in the spring as possible, as soon as the ground is workable. Trees planted in the spring will have the entire growing season to grow new roots.

The cooler days of autumn are the second best planting time. The only risk you are taking by planting in the fall is if there is an early frost, your tree will not have ample time to put out new roots.

Two of our earlier posts have information on how far apart to plant your hornbeams for a privacy screen:

How far apart should I plant hornbeams for a hedge

Hornbeam Hedging