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Hornbeam (American)

Carpinus caroliniana

Red and green leaves on an American Hornbeam tree

Rich summer foliage with a dash of reddish new growth. Fall colors of yellow, orange, red, and burgundy. Finely textured structure with fluted trunk (which sometimes leads to its being known as musclewood) to add to the winter interest. All this describes the American Hornbeam, or Carpinus caroliniana, a widespread understory tree growing 25'-40' high and native to the eastern United States deciduous forest. Small, dapper, and handsome, tolerating both full sun and part shade, this tree is also quite tolerant of compacted and clay soils. American Hornbeam also makes an excellent urban tree.

The American Hornbeam is a versatile tree that can be used as a specimen in the front lawn, as a corner accent plant, or as an understory tree in the backyard. American Hornbeam is resistant to juglone and can be planted beneath Black Walnut. The leaves are marcescent, holding a warm tan into early winter.

The extremely hard wood of the American Hornbeam was once used by early Americans to make bowls, tool handles and ox yokes. As the names suggests, the wood would take a horn-like polish.

Table of tree prices
Tree Container SizeStem CaliperPlant HeightPrice
#151.75-2"8'-10'sold out
#202-2.5"10'-12'sold out
#302.5"-3"11'-13'$249
#573-4"12-14'$349