Die Hainbuche – Baum der Abgrenzung
The popular use of the hornbeam in hedging immediately draws our attention to a key feature of this tree. Indeed, Hagebuche, one of the common names for the hornbeam in German, contains the word ‘Hag’, meaning grove or sheltered space. And the hornbeam presents as a tree that appears strongly centred in itself – a typical form that is concentrated, effectively shut off from the outside. Its vegetative organs are always neatly shaped, though never one-sidedly specialised, each still containing totipotency for the whole. The influence of the root region extends up the trunk of the hornbeam while at the same time it always retains the capacity to produce leafy shoots. The deep indentations in the trunk, its dense wood, the smooth bark and the dried up winter leaves are all an expression of it. Even the uniformity of the leaves, the extremely reduced flower and the very hard fruit enveloped in leaf organs are witness to the hornbeam’s telescoped typical form.