This deciduous, medium-sized tree matures to 40-60’ tall and 30-40’ wide at a growth rate of about 12-24” per year. Excellent tree for naturalized landscapes. The American hornbeam is extremely resistant to both pests and diseases, so problems rarely arise. American hornbeams (Carpinus caroliniana) are by far the most popular of the hornbeams grown in the U.S. Another common name for this tree is blue beech, which comes from the blue-gray color of its bark. Great Places to See American Hornbeam (Musclewood). The bark is smooth and greenish-grey, becoming shallowly fissured in all old trees. A handsome tree in many locations, the tree slowly reaches a height and spread of 20 to 30 feet. Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam 20′ – 30′. The combination of trunk and bark should separate this tree from the American Hornbeam, with which it has shared an unusual history of confusion in common names. Finches, ruffed grouse and wild turkeys eat American hornbeam nutlets. American hornbeam has hard, spherical fruit hanging under leaf-like, 3-lobed bracts. Excellent tree for naturalized landscapes. Scientific name: Carpinus caroliniana Pronunciation: kar-PYE-nus kair-oh-lin-ee-AY-nuh Common name(s): American hornbeam, blue-beech, ironwood Family: Betulaceae USDA hardiness zones: 3A through 9A (Figure 2) Origin: native to the majority of the eastern United States, southeast Quebec, and southwest Ontario UF/IFAS Invasive Assessment Status: native Height: 20’ - 30’ Spread: 20’ - 30’ Shape: Round, spreading Site preference: Rich, moist soils Zone: 3b - 9a Wet/dry: Prefers moist soil, but will tolerate some intermittent drought. The American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) is native to America, occurring naturally from Minnesota to Maine and south to Florida and east Texas. American hornbeams (Carpinus caroliniana) are by far the most popular of the hornbeams grown in the U.S. Another common name for this tree is blue beech, which comes from the blue-gray color of its bark. March 11, 2016 Carpinus caroliniana. Click here, then click on your county either on the map or from the list of counties below it. The smooth, gray, muscular-looking bark of American hornbeam is attractive year-round. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. It is fractured into narrow scales, which are loose at their ends. Also, it is planted as an ornamental, especially on wet sites. pH: 4.0 - 7.4 Native range: Eastern United States Other: Prefers shaded, moist soils. The smooth sinewy blue-gray trunk of American hornbeam easily contrasts with the shreddy, brownish, grooved bark of the American hop hornbeam. American hornbeam is a native, large shrub or small tree with a wide-spreading, flat-topped crown, the stems are slender, dark brown, hairy; bark gray, thin, usually smooth, with smooth, longitudinal fluting (resembling a flexed muscle). European hornbeam has a curved bud. Musclewood deserves to be planted more widely as a shade tree. American Hornbeam Musclewood. It is found in north-facing bluffs, rich woods at bases of bluffs, rocky slopes along streams, ravine bottoms, low wooded valleys, and moist woodlands. Difficult to transplant due to deep spreading lateral roots. The American hornbeam is also occasionally known as blue-beech, ironwood, or musclewood, the first from the resemblance of the bark to that of the American beech Fagus grandifolia, the other two from the hardness of the wood and the muscular appearance of the trunk, respectively. Carpinus caroliniana, commonly called American hornbeam, is a slow-growing, deciduous, small to medium-sized understory tree with an attractive globular form.It is native to Missouri where it is typically found in rich moist woods, valleys, ravine bottoms and rocky slopes along streams throughout the eastern and Ozark regions of the state (Steyermark). Hop-hornbeam, any of about seven species of ornamental trees constituting the genus Ostrya of the birch family (Betulaceae), native to Eurasia and North America.A hop-hornbeam has shaggy, scaling bark and thin, translucent, green leaves with hairy leafstalks. The tree is perhaps best known for its smooth and sinewy steel-gray bark and the muscle-like look of its maturing trunk and larger branches (thus one of its common names). Still, the wood is hard and tough and is used in making tool handles and small wooden articles. History and Origins of the American Hornbeam. Hop_Hornbeam_bark_Maramec_Spring_6-4-17.jpg Hop Hornbeam Bark The bark of hop hornbeam is thin, reddish gray, with tight, narrow, platelike scales; some trees have loose, shreddy scales. Proper maintenance and … We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. American Hornbeam, usually called Ironwood in North Carolina, is a fairly common understory tree found mostly along streambanks. American hornbeam, which is native to Illinois' woodlands, attains heights of 25 to 40 feet when mature. Ornamental Features. The leaves turn dark green in summer and then come ablaze with shades of yellow and orange-red in fall. A North American native tree boasting a kaleidoscope of color, American hornbeam unfurls striking reddish purple leaves in spring. Shrubs are less than 13 feet tall, with multiple stems. Environmental Characteristics. For general undergraduate student information, contact Dr. Rick Durham at (859) 257-3249, or rdurham@uky.edu. Both young and aged bark … It is an understory tree that rarely grows much higher than 20 feet in the wild and often grows in clumps of several trunks. Vines require support or else sprawl over the ground. This tree brings interest to the winter landscape, too, by displaying blue-gray bark with a slightly rippled appearance that earned the common name musclewood. WARNING: Some websites to which these materials provide links for the convenience of users are not managed by the University of Kentucky. American hornbeam is more difficult to transplant than European hornbeam. The muscle-like bark is smooth, gray, and fluted. Source: Commons Shippable Sizes. For undergraduate student information regarding the Sustainable Agriculture program, contact Dr. Krista Jacobsen at (859) 257-3921, or krista.jacobsen@uky.edu. The attractive bark on a young American Hornbeam Source: Commons An attractive mature tree in the wild. For graduate student information, contact Dr. Doug Archbold at 859-257-3352, or darchbol@uky.edu, American Hornbeam - Carpinus carolinianaBirch Family (Betulaceae). Find local MDC conservation agents, consultants, education specialists, and regional offices. Source: Commons An American Hornbeam growing in its native environment. Twigs are slender, gray or red, zigzag, with small buds. The American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) is native to America, occurring naturally from Minnesota to Maine and south to Florida and east Texas. A native tree with striking bark, it can be used in a naturalistic garden. The bark is another feature used to distinguish between these two birches. American Hornbeam is also known as Ironwood, Blue Beech, and Musclewood. American hornbeam, also known as musclewood or blue beech, is a small, slow-growing understory tree native to hardwood forests of the eastern US and Canada. This gives the trunk a shredded look. In fall, the American hornbeam displays leaves of various colors, ranging from yellow to scarlet to reddish-purple. American Hornbeam is also known as Ironwood, Blue Beech, and Musclewood. American Hornbeam or Musclewood. Hornbeam - Confidence Genus: Carpinus. A beautiful and underused native woodland tree; very interesting gray bark is almost muscular in appearance, makes a strong winter statement; also excellent blend of fall colors and curious hop-like fruit; good small multipurpose shade tree. Its sinewy, smooth gray bark adds real interest, and the leaves are attractive in summer and fall. Trees are woody plants over 13 feet tall with a single trunk. However, hornbeam trees can develop cankers, or dead sections on the bark or branches. This earned it the … Ironwood is a tough understory tree with beautiful birch-like leaves, grayish-brown flaky bark, fine-textured drooping branches, and attractive hop-like fruits. It is used for fence posts, fuel, and tool handles. Left to grow naturally your tree will develop a beautiful form, with attractive bark and a dense, rounded crown. The American Hornbeam has forest green foliage throughout the season. N-318 Ag Sciences Center University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40546-0091, Fax (Lexington): 859-257-2859       (Princeton): 270-365-2667, For questions about home gardening, landscaping or commercial horticulture production, please contact your county extension agent. The American hornbeam is a native forest understory tree in the Chicago area, making it useful for shady landscapes and naturalized or woodland gardens. American Hornbeam Musclewood. Like the American hornbeam, trunks have smooth gray bark and distinctive muscle-like fluting. It can be found naturally in areas with moist soil including streambanks, riverbanks, and maritime forests. This tree has interesting reddish brown bark that is broken into narrow strips that are loose at both ends. Blue beech’s official name is American hornbeam without the “hop.” Its bark looks very different: smooth, blue-gray and muscular. Plant narrow, upright trees in groups to create a living screen or windbreak. An Equal Opportunity University. American Hornbeam is shade tolerant and perfect for spots which need a smaller tree but has shade. Ironwood is a tough understory tree with beautiful birch-like leaves, grayish-brown flaky bark, fine-textured drooping branches, and attractive hop-like fruits. Be sure to come in the summer to admire its attractive yellow-green color and festive white flowers. It is time to break free of any self-imposed mind-trap that is preventing us from chasing our dreams. Site design : Academic Web Pages. American Hornbeam is a great tree for Nebraska because it was selected as the 2016 Great Plants for the Great Plains Tree of the Year. GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : American hornbeam is a native, deciduous small tree. The university does not review, control or take responsibility for the contents of those sites. The shape of the bud is an identifying difference between the American hornbeam and the closely related European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). New leaves emerge reddish-purple, changing to dark green, then turn yellow to orange-red in the fall, offering a kaleidoscope of color throughout the year. The smooth, gray, muscular-looking bark of American hornbeam is attractive year-round. American Hornbeam is shade tolerant and perfect for spots which need a smaller tree but has shade. The American Hornbeam has forest green foliage throughout the season. The leaves are alternate, 3–12 centimeters (1 ⁄4–4 ⁄4 in) long, with prominent veins giving a distinctive corrugated texture, and a serrated margin. It is a small tree with a smooth, light colored, "muscled” bark and alternate, deciduous leaves. The largest known American hornbeam in the U.S. is 69 feet tall and 2½ feet in diameter. Mammals ranging from rodents and rabbits to fox and deer browse the seeds, bark, wood, and twigs. General Information. American hophornbeam, which loves hilly areas, has papery capsules containing nuts that are eaten by a variety of wildlife including grouse, bobwhite, deer, pheasant, rabbit and turkey. American hornbeam is a common indicator plant of Missouri’s upland forests. In the wild musclewood is an understory tree featuring distinctive muscle like trunk and branches. Uses The wood of hop hornbeam is hard and durable. Hornbeam encourages us to be confident and to flex our muscles, physically and intellectually. American hornbeam, which is native to Illinois' woodlands, attains heights of 25 to 40 feet when mature. In the wild musclewood is an understory tree featuring distinctive muscle like trunk and branches. American Hornbeam. american_hornbeam_carpinus_caroliniana.jpg, Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. Ironwood has a slow growth rate and is reportedly difficult to transplant from a field nursery (although 10-inch-diameter trees were moved with a 90-inch tree spade during the winter in USDA hardiness zone 8b with … virginiana (Marshall) Fernald, and the southern var. “Wood” is a type of tissue made of cellulose and lignin that many plants develop as they mature — whether they are “woody” or not. Ironwood is considered one of Illinois' toughest native hardwoods and is not only ornamental but resistant to many disease and insect problems. Ornamental Features. The fruit is a small 7–8-millimeter ( ⁄32– ⁄16-inch) long nut, parti… Bark is smooth, tight, thin, bluish gray, sometimes blotched, fluted into muscle-like ridges, hence the other common name, “musclewood.”. These plants can ordered online and shipped directly to you or picked up at the nursery. Noteworthy Characteristics Carpinus caroliniana, commonly called American hornbeam, is a slow-growing, deciduous, small to medium-sized understory tree with an attractive globular form. This site was last updated on December 18, 2020. Plant in the spring. It is a small tree with a smooth, light colored, "muscled” bark and alternate, deciduous leaves. caroliniana. Found nearly throughout the state, except for the northern and eastern sections where trees cover less of the landscape. Ornamental Features. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson. It has many common names, the most common include: blue beech because of its very smooth gray bark, and musclewood referring to its muscle-like branches which are irregularly fluted. It is found in north-facing bluffs, rich woods at bases of bluffs, rocky slopes along streams, ravine bottoms, low wooded valleys, and moist woodlands. American hornbeam is a common indicator plant of Missouri’s upland forests. It is located in Ulster County, New York. There are no sharp dividing lines between trees, shrubs, and woody vines, or even between woody and nonwoody plants. Because it is exceptionally strong and hard, the wood has been made into golf clubs, handles, fuels, cogs, levers, wedges, and more. As the American hop hornbeam matures, the shreddy bark develops into thin vertical strips, only slightly shredding at the ends. Finches, ruffed grouse and wild turkeys eat American hornbeam nutlets. American hornbeam typically comes from nurseries as a single-stem tree. Fruit in long, hanging clusters of paired 3-lobed bracts (modified leaves), with each pair of bracts having a nutlet at its base. The seed is eaten by birds, including bobwhite and wild turkey, and the catkins and buds are a primary food source for ruffed grouse. It is a native understory tree in forests in … It is also a great food choice for wildlife found in the area. Send mail to cgcass0@uky.edu with questions about this site. American hornbeam has a straight bud. Eastern hophornbeam has loose strips of reddish brown to gray creating a rough, "clawed" bark. It will grow with an attractive open habit in total shade, but be dense in full sun. virginiana (Marshall) Fernald, and the southern var. Left to grow naturally your tree will develop a beautiful form, with attractive bark and a dense, rounded crown. American Hornbeam Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) is an attractive small tree that is common, but not abundant in its natural range. American Hornbeam or Musclewood. Bark of the trunk of this tree is light brown in color. Leaves are simple, alternate, 2–5 inches long, 1–2 inches wide, with upper surface bluish green, dull; undersurface paler, mostly smooth, or with hairs in vein axils only, margins with small sharp teeth. A native tree with striking bark, it can be used in a naturalistic garden. Family: Betulaceae. A beautiful and underused native woodland tree; very interesting gray bark is almost muscular in appearance, makes a strong winter statement; also excellent blend of fall colors and curious hop-like fruit; good small multipurpose shade tree. American Hornbeam, Musclewood, or Ironwood, is a deciduous tree that may grow 30 to feet tall. A mid size deciduous tree. Deer browse this tree's twigs and foliage. Noteworthy Characteristics. A beautiful and underused native woodland tree; very interesting gray bark is almost muscular in appearance, makes a strong winter statement; also excellent blend of fall colors and curious hop-like fruit; good small multipurpose shade tree. Unlike the Eastern Hophornbeam, the wood of the American Hornbeam decays rapidly when in contact with soil. Both of the two recognized varieties occur in NC, the northern var. Copyright 2020, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. It usually grows 30 to 40 feet (9-12 m) tall [4,13,32,39].The bark is thin, close, and usually smooth. A mid size deciduous tree. Tolerates dry, shady sites. History and Origins of the American Hornbeam. American Hornbeam, usually called Ironwood in North Carolina, is a fairly common understory tree found mostly along streambanks. The trunk is often crooked, and is usually coarsely fluted, resembling a flexed muscle [4,7,13].The fruit is a ribbed nutlet 0.16 to 0.24 inch (4-6 mm) long [3,4]. American hornbeam is a small tree reaching heights of 10–15 meters (35–50 ft), rarely 20 meters (65 ft), and often has a fluted and crooked trunk. It is a tree that should be planted more in Nebraska and utilized as an understory tree or a specimen tree as it grows well in both sun and shade. American hornbeam is a tall shrub or small tree, to 35 feet tall, with pendulous branches and a gray trunk that is fluted into musclelike ridges. The Eastern Ironwood, known also as the American Hophornbeam, Eastern Hop-hornbeam, Hophornbeam, Ironwood, or Leverwood, stretches over much of the Eastern United States with its attractive foliage and bell-like inflorescences. Both of the two recognized varieties occur in NC, the northern var. Ironwood is considered one of Illinois' toughest native hardwoods and is not only ornamental but resistant to many disease and insect problems. The bark and inner wood was used to treat toothache, sore muscles, coughs, and many other ailments by American Indians. Most cultivars of American hornbeam are columnar in shape when they are young, then develop a pyramidal shape as they age. And they can present with leaf scorch or leaf spots. The bark … The leaves are alternate with a doubly toothed margin. Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam 20′ – 30′. The tree's look is enhanced by its crooked trunk and pendulous, zig-zagging branches, which help attract wildlife. It should be transplanted balled-and- burlapped in the spring. The hoplike, green fruits are composed of many bladderlike scales, each bearing a small, flat nut. The American Hornbeam has forest green foliage throughout the season. Hornbeam, Carpinus butulus is also referred to as ironwood or musclewood, because of its smooth bark and… In fall, the American hornbeam displays leaves of various colors, ranging from yellow to scarlet to reddish-purple. caroliniana.They are quite similar and many of the trees in the overlap range (such as in Durham County) are intergrades. The male and female catkinsappear in spring at the same time as the leaves. The tree's look is enhanced by its crooked trunk and pendulous, zig-zagging branches, which help attract wildlife. Flowers April–May; in catkins, with male and female on the same twig. Hornbeam Varieties. Hornbeam wood is the hardest of any European trees. 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