European Hornbeam is a low maintenance tree that tolerates urban conditions and difficult sites. The leaves are glossy. The most distinguishing feature is the slate grey bark and the fluted trunk which is ornamental year around, especially in winter. European hornbeam has a nice rounded form and dense foliage that makes it an excellent choice for an ornamental or specimen planting. Native to Europe and Asia Minor, this sun-lover is hardy to zone 4 in a variety of soil types as long as they are well-drained. It grows to about 40 feet in cultivation, with an equal spread. Hornbeam refers to the dense, horn-like wood, and the use of the wood to make beams and ox-yokes. Another name is Common Hornbeam.