The hornbeam can reach a height of 30m, although
it is usually smaller with a curved or leaning trunk.
Mature trees have a characteristic deeply fluted,
sinuous, smooth grey trunk (Gamlin, 1985). It is often
coppiced or pollarded; sending up stands of snake-like
poles and often dominates the shrub layer or co-dominates
The leaves are 4-10cm long, sharply toothed, and are
folded along parallel veins, lying opposite to each
other on twigs (Wilkinson, 1976), and has distinct
deeply ribbed fruits (Godwin, 1965).