Carpinus betulus 'Rockhampton Red' was discovered at Mount Pleasant Tree Nursery in Gloucestershire over 20 years ago and has only very recently come on to the UK horticultural market.
According to Mount Pleasant Tree Nursery Carpinus betulus 'Rockhampton Red' grows with the same rate and habit as normal Carpinus betulus, but in the Autumn, commencing in October, or sometimes late September the leaves turn different shades of bright red and orange, persisting until mid-late November when the leaves turn brown.
The autumn colour of Carpinus betulus 'Rockhampton Red'is so intense it can be favourably compared to Liquidambar, Acers and Parrotia and other outstanding autumn foliage trees.
Rockhampton Red is a robust, healthy and grows very well in a very wide range of soil types including those which are poor and dry and/ or limey and will tolerate heavy waterlogged soils. It will also tolerate exposed and windy conditions and it is not unreasonable to expect a tree of some 4-5m after five years.
In 2015 the tree won the Merite de Courson, the highest award at the premier French Horticultural show.