‘Caroliniana’ is a healthier eastern-states cousin from the birch family, lacking the insect and disease problems that plague the species at large. Here is a pleasing small-to-medium tree with fresh green summer foliage and a show of yellow to either orange or fire-engine red come fall.
When mature, the shape can range from rounded to a broader, elliptical form. Its biggest benefit is its surprising shade tolerance — it will thrive, even under the canopy of other trees — but will be happiest in partial shade. ‘Caroliniana’ likes wet feet (though it can tolerate a semi-dry spot) and is partial to a slightly acid-to-neutral soil pH.
If you live near a wooded area, you can count on attracting a variety of desirable game birds (wild turkey, pheasant, ruffled grouse), which will seek out the seeds and buds. Perfect as a windbreak because of its supreme resistance to splitting, and just grand-looking when planted as a grove.
|Mature Height||20 - 30 feet|
|Mature Spread||20 - 30 feet|
|Moisture||Moist to Wet|
|Mature Form||Wide Spreading|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun - Full Shade|
The American Hornbeam tree, Carpinus caroliniana, is a shade tolerant under story tree. American Hornbeam trees are also known by the common names of Musclewood, Ironwood, Blue Beech, and Water Beech trees. The word "hornbeam" comes from the words "horn" for "toughness" and "beam" an old English word for "tree" and refers to this tree's very hard, tough, wood. This deciduous species provides nuts that are eaten by many birds such as grouse, bobwhite, pheasant and wild turkey. Cottontail rabbits and deer nibble on the shoots of this tree.
Carpinus caroliniana exhibits leaves that are thin and beautifully translucent. This shade tree will provide cool, dense shade in the summer because of its many leaves giving a dense appearance. In late autumn the leaves turn deep scarlet and orange providing good fall color tree.