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Native Flame® American Hornbeam

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American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana ‘JFS-KW6’): 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. (Other names: Blue Beech, Ironwood, Musclewood, Water Beech)

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
20 feet
Average Landscape Width:
15 feet
Growth Rate:
slow
Genus:
Carpinus
Species:
caroliniana
Summer Foliage Color:
forest green
Fall Color:
orange
Minimum Light:
shade
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
dry
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Plant Form:
round
Canopy:
low
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Pollution Tolerance:
medium
Other Species Names:
Blue Beech, Ironwood, Musclewood, Water Beech
Branching:
decurrent

Ornamental Features

The Native Flame American Hornbeam has forest green deciduous foliage on a tree with a round habit of growth. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding orange in the fall. It produces small clusters of tan hop-like fruit from early fall to late winter. The smooth silvery blue bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

The Native Flame American Hornbeam is a deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

The Native Flame American Hornbeam will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree performs well in both full sun and full shade. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

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