Hornbeam’s sapwood is very thick, with most boards and lumber being comprised entirely of sapwood. Color is nearly white. Pale yellowish brown heartwood isn’t clearly demarcated from sapwood.
Grain is straight, with a fine, even texture.
Diffuse-porous; small to medium pores, often in radial or diagonal arrangement, (sometimes in dendritic arrangement), moderately numerous to numerous; commonly in radial multiples of 2-4; tyloses occasionally present; smaller rays not visible without lens, with much larger aggregate rays occasionally present, close spacing; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, banded (marginal).
Hornbeam is rated as non-durable to perishable in regards to decay resistance, and is also susceptible to insect attack. However, Hornbeam has excellent resistance to wear and abrasion.
Overall, Hornbeam is considered difficult to work on account of its density and toughness. However, this same density, coupled with its fine and even grain, make an excellent turning wood. Stains, glues, and finishes well.
Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Hornbeam has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Not typically harvested commercially for lumber due to its small size, Hornbeam isn’t seen too often for sale. Prices for the wood should be moderate throughout its natural range.
This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Fuelwood, wheels, handles, shafts, and other small wood parts.