Bark is smooth, tight, thin, bluish gray, sometimes blotched, fluted into muscle-like ridges, hence the other common name, “musclewood.”. 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. With the more recent arrival of several new cultivars which display some of the best characteristics of this species, an update on this tree is in order. Here in western Pennsylvania we call the American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) a “Blue beech” because of its bark, but it’s not a beech tree at all.The common names in this family are often confusing. The American Hornbeam is one of the easiest hardwood trees to grow and thrives in a wider range of conditions than most other Hornbeam species. Be sure to come in the summer to admire its attractive yellow-green color and festive white flowers. The trees mentioned in this article (Hornbeam and Hophornbeam) are in the birch family. Bark is smooth, tight, thin, bluish gray, sometimes blotched, fluted into … Other associated species include hophornbeam, red maple, sweetgum, alder, redbud, cypress, and sumac. The Division of Forestry promotes and applies management for the sustainable use and protection of Ohio’s private and public forest lands. Begin identifying your tree by choosing the appropriate region below. 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). The Tree is a deciduous tree, it will be up to 12 m (39 ft) high. Landscapers generally prefer trees that show faster results. It is the upland equivalent to hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana). American Hornbeam Hornbeam ( Carpinus caroliniana ) is an attractive small tree that is common, but not abundant in its natural range. Musclewood deserves to be planted more widely as a shade tree. 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 hoplike, green fruits are composed of many bladderlike scales, each bearing a small, flat nut. American hornbeam (carpinus caroliniana) is a wonderful little understory tree, short enough to tuck into small spaces. Carpinus caroliniana, commonly called American hornbeam, is a slow-growing, deciduous, small to medium-sized understory tree with an attractive globular form. Great Places to See American Hornbeam (Musclewood). Find local MDC conservation agents, consultants, education specialists, and regional offices. Carpinus caroliniana Walter – American hornbeam. 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 muscled appearance of the trunk and limbs. The extremely hard wood of this tree will, as the common name suggests, take a horn-like polish and was once used by early Americans to make bowls, tool handles and ox yokes. caroliniana. Bloom Description: White (female), Green (male). It too is a member of the Betulaceae family, belonging to the genus Ostrya, a genus of eight to ten small deciduous trees. Easily grown in average, medium moisture soil in part shade to full shade. Pest-resistant and its hardwood weathers damage from ice and snow. Be sure to use them in naturalized areas. Both of the two recognized varieties occur in NC, the northern 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. A third native tree, American hop hornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, will also be described. Both trees are … In a Tree Profile over 10 years ago, I raved about the American hornbeam, Carpinas caroliniana and still feel the same today. Mike, yes the beeches are oaks are related. A tenacious tree for urban situations, the non-aggressive roots allow for planting near hardscapes. American hornbeam is a wonderful addition to a … An attractively shaped, low-maintenance understory tree for shady sites. Cutting practices should leave some canopy trees for shade . The Ironwood (American Hophornbeam) is a native, smaller tree many times found as an understory plant. American Hornbeam, usually called Ironwood in North Carolina, is a fairly common understory tree found mostly along streambanks. American hornbeam is also known as blue-beech, and musclewood. American Hornbeams are tough, adaptable trees and this variety holds true to the species. Shrubs are less than 13 feet tall, with multiple stems. Introduction: A fine-textured tree that is related to the birches, American hornbeam is the only North American native of the genus Carpinus. Click below on a thumbnail map or name for subspecies profiles. Comments: American Hornbeam is also sometimes referred to as “Blue Beech,” though it is technically not closely related to Beech, but bears a closer resemblance to Birch, being in the Betulaceae family. The leaves are ovoid and the flowers are yellow-green. caroliniana.They are quite similar and many of the trees in the overlap range (such as in Durham County) are intergrades. Phone: (207) 287-3200 Fax: (207) 287-2400 It is used for fence posts, fuel, and tool handles. No serious insect or disease problems. Eastern hop hornbeam is a small tree with wide, spreading branches. American hornbeam initially dominated a clearcut site but was eventually overtopped by larger species . The Plants Database includes the following 2 subspecies of Carpinus caroliniana . American hornbeam:musclewood (Carpinus caroliniana) Pick Another Species New Atlas Available A new, updated version of the Climate Change Tree Atlas is available for American hornbeam:musclewood ( Carpinus caroliniana ) With progress, most of these uses have become obsolete and the American hornbeam has become a mostly forgotten tree. The American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) is a deciduous hardwood shade tree that's native to eastern North America. American Hophornbeam is a small understory tree that can exhibit invasive characteristics but is a native. American hornbeam is a common indicator plant of Missouri’s upland forests. It is an understory tree that rarely grows much higher than 20 feet in the wild and often grows in clumps of several trunks. Typically grows 20-35' tall. Vines require support or else sprawl over the ground. American Hornbeam Cultivars Carpinus caroliniana Native Flame ®, Palisade ®, Ball O’ Fire™, & Rising Fire ®. Tolerant of periodic flooding and slightly acidic soils. virginiana (Marshall) Fernald, and the southern var. Tree Identification Field Guide. Also in this family is the somewhat related Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana). Because it is exceptionally strong and hard, the wood has been made into golf clubs, handles, fuels, cogs, levers, wedges, and more. Found nearly throughout the state, except for the northern and eastern sections where trees cover less of the landscape. May be grown in lawns or naturalized in woodland areas. Prefers moist, organically rich soils. 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. Plant in the spring. Our illustrated, step-by-step process makes it easy to identify a tree simply by the kinds of leaves it produces. They are very slow growing, but once re-established, will make excellent growth. Although American hophornbeam's fall color is not sensational, it helps to "soften" the autumn landscape. It is found throughout Ohio. The Garden wouldn't be the Garden without our Members, Donors and Volunteers. 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. Hornbeam Care Carpinus caroliniana ssp. There are no sharp dividing lines between trees, shrubs, and woody vines, or even between woody and nonwoody plants. What Tree Is That? Ornamental Landscaping Unlike the Eastern Hophornbeam, the wood of the American Hornbeam decays rapidly when in contact with soil. Leaf spots, cankers and twig blight are occasional disease problems. Commercial use of hornbeam wood is not practicable, however, due to the limited amount of wood that can be harvested per tree.Genus name comes from the classical Latin name.Specific epithet means of North or South Carolina. The American Hornbeam is botanically called Carpinus caroliniana. Subordinate Taxa. 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. 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. Fruit in long, hanging clusters of paired 3-lobed bracts (modified leaves), with each pair of bracts having a nutlet at its base. American Hophornbeam is also known as Ironwood or Musclewood, is a handsome, medium-sized tree that will offer substantial shade and subtle yellow fall color. Tolerates dry, shady sites. Mammals ranging from rodents and rabbits to fox and deer browse the seeds, bark, wood, and twigs. Height – 30 to 50 feet (10 to 15 meters) Exposure – full sun Soil – ordinary Foliage – deciduous Flowering – spring Its sinewy, smooth gray bark adds real interest, and the leaves are attractive in summer and fall. Hornbeam or blue-beech is a common tree in our forests, and it also appears in many parks and gardens. https://www.thoughtco.com/willow-elm-birch-black-cherry-leaf-key-1343490 The European hornbeam tree (Carpinus betulus) is seldom grown in the U.S. More than twice the height of American hornbeam, it is still a manageable size, but it grows incredibly slowly. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson. These trees often utilize the last bit of filtered light in the understory, but they prefer full sun. The bark and inner wood was used to treat toothache, sore muscles, coughs, and many other ailments by American Indians. 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. Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry 22 State House Station 18 Elkins Lane Augusta, ME 04333 More Locations. Major hornbeam facts. Native Introduced Native and Introduced. Eastern hop hornbeam, American Hop-hornbeam, Hop hornbeam, Ironwood, Leverwood, Ironwood Hornbeam Tree . Species. american_hornbeam_carpinus_caroliniana.jpg, Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. It was chosen for its upright growth, reliable form, and especially, for its bright red fall color. It's an excellent tree for lawns, street trees, or parks. Serrated, elliptic-oval, dark green leaves often produce respectable shades of yellow, orange and red in fall. Birch Family (Betulaceae) Introduction: American hophornbeam is a small understory tree of well-drained, deciduous forests that thrives on neglect. Leaves are alternate, simple, blades 2½â€“4½ inches long, 1½â€“2½ inches wide, broadest at or below the middle; margin sharply and densely toothed; base often uneven; upper surface yellowish to dark green, dull; lower surface paler, hairy. This deciduous shade tree yields small nuts that attract wildlife. The American hop hornbeam is often confused with the American hornbeam. The American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, is an inconspicuous tree that I had much difficulty identifying.It is relatively unknown today but once it had important uses in everyday life. Size/Form: Hornbeam is a small to medium tree that reaches heights of 15' to 25'. It is part of the Betulaceae (birch) family and has several nicknames, including blue beech, muscle beech, water beech, muscletree, musclewood, and ironwood. This tree grows throughout the eastern United States, westward to eastern Texas and Oklahoma, and in southeastern Canada. Its strong wood and fluted … Contact. Flowers April–May; in catkins, with male and female on the same twig. Carpinus caroliniana, commonly called American hornbeam, is a slow-growing, deciduous, small to medium-sized understory tree with an attractive globular form. Twigs are slender, gray or red, zigzag, with small buds. The trunk and branches of this tree have ridges that look like muscles. American hornbeam may be controlled by 2,4,5-T . This beautiful tree attracts wildlife from songbirds to butterflies and has been proven to be useful in a variety of landscape uses, best recommended for hedging and screening. The seed is eaten by birds, including bobwhite and wild turkey, and the catkins and buds are a primary food source for ruffed grouse. Trees are woody plants over 13 feet tall with a single trunk. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. Difficult to transplant due to deep spreading lateral roots. The smooth, gray trunk and larger branches of a mature tree exhibit a distinctive muscle-like fluting that has given rise to another common name of musclewood for this tree. Unlike other Hornbeams, the American species is tolerant of wet and clay soils and will also thrive in much more shade (although the growth is fastest in full sun). Name – Carpinus Family – Betulaceae Type – tree. Hornbeam grows in moist, fertile soils of bottomland hardwoods on the edges of swamps, streams, and rivers. The tree likes Sun to shade at the location and the soil should be fresh humus soils. Overstory cover is important for maintenance of American hornbeam. Uses The wood of hop hornbeam is hard and durable. It is native to eastern North America, from Minnesota and southern Ontario east to Maine, and south to eastern Texas and northern Florida. Flowers appear in spring in separate male and female catkins, with the female catkins giving way to distinctive clusters of winged nutlets. Firespire® American Hornbeam, commonly known as Upright Musclewood, was introduced in the early 90s by Michael Yanny of Johnson’s Nursery, Inc. Description: 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. Carpinus caroliniana, the American hornbeam, is a small hardwood tree in the genus Carpinus. This species really prevents light from hitting the forest floor. It is readily identified by the light scaly bark. 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