A slow-growing, spreading-canopied deciduous tree, American hornbeam is native to southeastern North America from Canada to Mexico. The ridged, gray, smooth bark looks like there are flexed muscles under it, yielding another common name of musclewood. It may also grow with many trunks and attain a form much more shrub-like, albeit large.
The pretty, oblong, tapered leaves have depressed veins and double-teeth on their edges. In spring, male and female flowers appear separately on the same tree, but only the drooping females catkin blossoms are of interest. After being wind-pollinated, the catkins give way to winged clusters of green fruits that ripen to brown. In autumn, the leaves turn primarily shades of yellow, but it is common to have variable flushes of red and orange, too.
Grow American hornbeam in full to partial sun or even nearly full shade spots. It does best in deep, fertile acidic soils. Use it as a specimen shade or street tree, or as a screening hedge since it tolerates shearing well. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Carpinus
Species - Caroliniana
Common name - American Hornbeam
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 9
Height - 20'-40' / 6 - 12 m
Spread - 35'-50' / 10 - 15 m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade
Growth rate - Slow
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam
Water requirements - Average-High
Landscape uses - Hedges, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees, Street Trees
Germination rate - 85%
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Dark Green, fall - Yellow, Yellow Green, Orange Red / Yellow, Yellow Green
|Soak seeds 12-24 hours in a warm water.
Stratification/ cold treatment: seeds need 60-90 days pre-chill period. Seeds can be stratified in dampened peat or sand, in a plastic box or bag at 4°C or 5°C in a refrigerator. The seeds should not be frozen or in a wet medium.
Sow Carpinus seeds on the surface of a Well drained seed sowing mix at about 20°C.When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame until they are at least 15cm tall before planting them into their permanent positions. Grow the plants on for two years in the seedbed and then plant them out into their permanent positions in the winter