We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. Site design : Academic Web Pages. These plants can ordered online and shipped directly to you or picked up at the nursery. The American Hornbeam has forest green foliage throughout the season. American Hornbeam or Musclewood. European hornbeam has a curved bud. This site was last updated on December 18, 2020. The shape of the bud is an identifying difference between the American hornbeam and the closely related European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). 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. For undergraduate student information regarding the Sustainable Agriculture program, contact Dr. Krista Jacobsen at (859) 257-3921, or krista.jacobsen@uky.edu. virginiana (Marshall) Fernald, and the southern var. American Hornbeam. 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. The American hornbeam is extremely resistant to both pests and diseases, so problems rarely arise. WARNING: Some websites to which these materials provide links for the convenience of users are not managed by the University of Kentucky. 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. Most cultivars of American hornbeam are columnar in shape when they are young, then develop a pyramidal shape as they age. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson. Also, it is planted as an ornamental, especially on wet sites. Musclewood deserves to be planted more widely as a shade tree. History and Origins of the American Hornbeam. In fall, the American hornbeam displays leaves of various colors, ranging from yellow to scarlet to reddish-purple. For graduate student information, contact Dr. Doug Archbold at 859-257-3352, or darchbol@uky.edu, American Hornbeam - Carpinus carolinianaBirch Family (Betulaceae). American hornbeam, which is native to Illinois' woodlands, attains heights of 25 to 40 feet when mature. March 11, 2016 Carpinus caroliniana. However, hornbeam trees can develop cankers, or dead sections on the bark or branches. History and Origins of the American Hornbeam. As the American hop hornbeam matures, the shreddy bark develops into thin vertical strips, only slightly shredding at the ends. Ornamental Features. American Hornbeam, usually called Ironwood in North Carolina, is a fairly common understory tree found mostly along streambanks. Blue beech’s official name is American hornbeam without the “hop.” Its bark looks very different: smooth, blue-gray and muscular. 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]. Ornamental Features. It is located in Ulster County, New York. Found nearly throughout the state, except for the northern and eastern sections where trees cover less of the landscape. American Hornbeam or Musclewood. 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. American hornbeam has a straight bud. GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : American hornbeam is a native, deciduous small tree. 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 American Hornbeam is shade tolerant and perfect for spots which need a smaller tree but has shade. American Hornbeam Musclewood. Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam 20′ – 30′. The muscle-like bark is smooth, gray, and fluted. The attractive bark on a young American Hornbeam Source: Commons An attractive mature tree in the wild. 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). The smooth, gray, muscular-looking bark of American hornbeam is attractive year-round. The bark is another feature used to distinguish between these two birches. Click here, then click on your county either on the map or from the list of counties below it. 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. A mid size deciduous tree. Mammals ranging from rodents and rabbits to fox and deer browse the seeds, bark, wood, and twigs. 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_carpinus_caroliniana.jpg, Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. 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. Difficult to transplant due to deep spreading lateral roots. 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 … We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. In the wild musclewood is an understory tree featuring distinctive muscle like trunk and branches. Flowers April–May; in catkins, with male and female on the same twig. 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. It is a small tree with a smooth, light colored, "muscled” bark and alternate, deciduous leaves. Noteworthy Characteristics. Bark is smooth, tight, thin, bluish gray, sometimes blotched, fluted into muscle-like ridges, hence the other common name, “musclewood.”. 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. A North American native tree boasting a kaleidoscope of color, American hornbeam unfurls striking reddish purple leaves in spring. It is a native understory tree in forests in the Eastern half of the U.S. and southernmost Canada. A handsome tree in many locations, the tree slowly reaches a height and spread of 20 to 30 feet. Ironwood is a tough understory tree with beautiful birch-like leaves, grayish-brown flaky bark, fine-textured drooping branches, and attractive hop-like fruits. Because it is exceptionally strong and hard, the wood has been made into golf clubs, handles, fuels, cogs, levers, wedges, and more. Still, the wood is hard and tough and is used in making tool handles and small wooden articles. Hornbeam encourages us to be confident and to flex our muscles, physically and intellectually. Like the American hornbeam, trunks have smooth gray bark and distinctive muscle-like fluting. Noteworthy Characteristics Carpinus caroliniana, commonly called American hornbeam, is a slow-growing, deciduous, small to medium-sized understory tree with an attractive globular form. American Hornbeam, Musclewood, or Ironwood, is a deciduous tree that may grow 30 to feet tall. The American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) is native to America, occurring naturally from Minnesota to Maine and south to Florida and east Texas. Proper maintenance and … Shrubs are less than 13 feet tall, with multiple stems. Family: Betulaceae. The hoplike, green fruits are composed of many bladderlike scales, each bearing a small, flat nut. Excellent tree for naturalized landscapes. The American Hornbeam has forest green foliage throughout the season. Left to grow naturally your tree will develop a beautiful form, with attractive bark and a dense, rounded crown. The bark … American hornbeam typically comes from nurseries as a single-stem tree. The smooth sinewy blue-gray trunk of American hornbeam easily contrasts with the shreddy, brownish, grooved bark of the American hop hornbeam. Vines require support or else sprawl over the ground. 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. 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. Ironwood is considered one of Illinois' toughest native hardwoods and is not only ornamental but resistant to many disease and insect problems. It usually grows 30 to 40 feet (9-12 m) tall [4,13,32,39].The bark is thin, close, and usually smooth. The tree's look is enhanced by its crooked trunk and pendulous, zig-zagging branches, which help attract wildlife. It can be found naturally in areas with moist soil including streambanks, riverbanks, and maritime forests. It is used for fence posts, fuel, and tool handles. There are no sharp dividing lines between trees, shrubs, and woody vines, or even between woody and nonwoody plants. 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. Finches, ruffed grouse and wild turkeys eat American hornbeam nutlets. The bark is smooth and greenish-grey, becoming shallowly fissured in all old trees. It will grow with an attractive open habit in total shade, but be dense in full sun. Hornbeam Varieties. American Hornbeam is shade tolerant and perfect for spots which need a smaller tree but has shade. General Information. An Equal Opportunity University. American hornbeam is more difficult to transplant than European hornbeam. It is also a great food choice for wildlife found in the area. The leaves turn dark green in summer and then come ablaze with shades of yellow and orange-red in fall. 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. Find local MDC conservation agents, consultants, education specialists, and regional offices. 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 a small tree with a smooth, light colored, "muscled” bark and alternate, deciduous leaves. Both of the two recognized varieties occur in NC, the northern var. caroliniana.They are quite similar and many of the trees in the overlap range (such as in Durham County) are intergrades. Twigs are slender, gray or red, zigzag, with small buds. 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. Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam 20′ – 30′. In the wild musclewood is an understory tree featuring distinctive muscle like trunk and branches. Its sinewy, smooth gray bark adds real interest, and the leaves are attractive in summer and fall. The smooth, gray, muscular-looking bark of American hornbeam is attractive year-round. Ornamental Features. 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. The tree's look is enhanced by its crooked trunk and pendulous, zig-zagging branches, which help attract wildlife. This earned it the … Fruit in long, hanging clusters of paired 3-lobed bracts (modified leaves), with each pair of bracts having a nutlet at its base. 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). The university does not review, control or take responsibility for the contents of those sites. pH: 4.0 - 7.4 Native range: Eastern United States Other: Prefers shaded, moist soils. 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. American hornbeam, which is native to Illinois' woodlands, attains heights of 25 to 40 feet when mature. 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. Tree found mostly along streambanks then click on your County either on the same as... 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