American Hornbeam

Carpinus tree shape

Carpinus caroliniana

  • 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.
  • pH: 4.0 - 7.4
  • Native range: Eastern United States
  • Other: Prefers shaded, moist soils.
  • Ornamental characteristics: “Muscled” bark, good orange-red fall color, clumps or single stem. Transplant in spring, somewhat slower to establish. Native to Michigan and eastern United States.
  • Pests: Prone to ice damage. Two-line chestnut borers can be a problem when plants are stressed.

American hornbean Carpicaro
Photos: John Ruter, Univ. of Georgia, Bugwood.org (left) and Jesse Saylor, MSU (right).

American hornbean leaves
Photo:Chris Evans, IL. Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwod.org

Carpinus range
Map indicates species’ native range. Source: U.S. Geological Survey

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