American Hornbeam
(Carpinus caroliniana)

  • This tree slowly reaches a height and spread of 20 to 30 feet. It will grow with an attractive open habit in total shade, but be dense in full sun.
  • The tree is also known as ironwood, having muscle-like bark that is smooth, gray and fluted.  The wood is very hard and strong and dulls wood working tools quickly.
  • The fall color is faintly orange to yellow and stands out in the landscape or woods in the fall. Brown leaves occasionally hang on the tree into the winter.
  • Tolerant of pruning, the tree can be used as a hedge plant or lends itself well for use as a screen due to the densely foliated crown.
  • Well-suited for small spaces in the shade or sun, and is tolerant of occasional flooding.  Although moderately drought-tolerant, it is probably best to provide even established trees with some irrigation during dry spells.
  • Nutlets and buds are eaten by many birds and squirrels.  Relatively pest free.

Information Source: Carpinus caroliniana: American Hornbeam

Tree Species List


Photos by Alicia Lamborn