Ironwood (American Hophornbeam)

Product Code: ironw

Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)
Enter Shipping Zip Code:
Enter Shipping Zip Code:

Details

The Ironwood (American Hophornbeam) is a native, smaller tree many times found as an understory plant. It's an excellent tree for lawns, street trees, or parks. Be sure to use them in naturalized areas. They are very slow growing, but once re-established, will make excellent growth. They like full sun or part shade, and cool moist soil, yet very adaptable to drier soils. The fruit is a nutlet that resembles a hop like fruit from hop vine. The mature growth of this tree is around 25' tall x 25' wide. Hardiness zone 4.

Planting & Care for Trees - Hornbeams

Preparation

  • A lovely shade tree suitable for most settings, American hornbeams are compact trees that fit the scale of the average home landscape perfectly.
  • Hornbeams, also known as ironwood and musclewood, get their common names from their strong wood, which rarely cracks or splits. In fact, early pioneers found these trees ideal for making mallets and other tools as well as bowls and dishes. 
  • They grow in sun or shade and prefer organically rich soil.

Opening Plant Material

  • Grow Bags - Remove bag by using a utility knife to slit up the side and peel off the fabric exposing the soil and roots. Plant the root ball just like you would a container plant. No trimming of roots is necessary for grow bags.
  • B&B - Soak root ball very well.
  • Containers - Completely saturate all container plants by putting in a larger container of water until stops bubbling, remove. Now you’re ready to plant.
  • Each type of plant has an illustration on how to plant if you scroll down and click on the orange rectangular box “Handling & Plant Guidelines”.

Planting Grow Bags

  • Plant grow bags in spring or fall.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.

Planting B&B trees

  • Plant B&B trees in spring or fall. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 6" wider and no deeper than the size of the ball on the plant. Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move trees by the tops.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer
  • Backfill ½ of the hole with soil and completely saturate the soil with water.
  • Once the tree is straight and located as desired, cut and remove twine. Then, remove or bend back top ⅓ of metal basket. Lastly, remove exposed burlap from top of ball
  • Fill the hole to the top of the ball with soil, then soak well with water and let settle.
  • The top of the root ball should be visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Add mulch on top of soil making sure to not put mulch against the trunk or stems.
  • See our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” for illustrations on planting.

Planting containers

  • Slide plant from pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • Dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container and 6" or more, making sure it’s wider on the sides
  • With shovel or knife trim bottom 2" off of the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
  • Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.

Pruning - After Planting

  • B&B & Grow Bags & containers - Although it is not essential for B&B, grow bags or containers to be pruned after planting, a light pruning for shape, to remove any broken branches from shipping, or to thin out a heavily branched plant will help in the transplanting process and in the appearance of your new planting.

Pruning - Through-out the Season

  • Hornbeam pruning depends on your needs. The tree requires very little pruning for good health.
  • The branches are very strong and seldom require repair. You can trim the branches up the trunk to make room for landscape maintenance if you’d like.
  • The lower branches are best left intact if you have children who will enjoy climbing the tree.

Watering - After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Watering - Through-out the Season

  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

 

Go to our "Plant Features & Video Tab" for more information & tips on caring and maintaining this plant.

Handling & Planting Guidelines

Special Features & Videos for Hornbeams

Special Plant Features & Tips

  • The Ironwood (American Hophornbeam), is a native, smaller tree many times found as an understory plant.
  • It's an excellent tree for lawns, street trees, or parks. Be sure to use them in naturalized areas.
  • They are very slow growing, but once re-established, will make excellent growth.
  • They like full sun or part shade, and cool moist soil, yet very adaptable to drier soils.
  • The fruit is a nutlet that resembles a hop like fruit from hop vine.
  • The mature growth of this tree is around 25' tall x 25' wide.
  • Hardiness zone 4.  
  • A lovely shade tree suitable for most settings, American hornbeams are compact trees that fit the scale of the average home landscape perfectly.
  • Hornbeams, also known as ironwood and musclewood, get their common names from their strong wood, which rarely cracks or splits. In fact, early pioneers found these trees ideal for making mallets and other tools as well as bowls and dishes. 
  • They grow in sun or shade and prefer organically rich soil.
  • Hornbeam pruning depends on your needs. The tree requires very little pruning for good health.
  • The branches are very strong and seldom require repair. You can trim the branches up the trunk to make room for landscape maintenance if you’d like.
  • The lower branches are best left intact if you have children who will enjoy climbing the tree.

How & When to Prune Trees

ItemApprox Weight (lbs.)Approx Base Dimensions (diameter)Approx Height
#7 Grow Bag** 35-50 14-16" 5-8'
#10 Grow Bag** 55-70 18" 6-8'
#15 Grow Bag** 65-80 22" 6-10'
#20 Grow Bag** 75-100 24" 8-12'
1 1/4" B&B** 250-500 22" for single stems, 28" for multiple stems  8-11'
1 1/2" B&B** 325-600 24" for single stems, 30" for multiple stems  10-12'
2" B&B** 500-700 28" for single stems, 32" for multiple stems 10-14'
2 1/2" B&B** 600-1000 30" for single stems, 36" for multiple stems 10-15'
3" B&B** 850-1000 34"-36"  12-16'
3 1/2" B&B** 1000 36"  12-18'
10' B&B** 250 22"  10'
12' B&B** 325 24"  12'
14' B&B** 500 28" 14'
16' B&B** 600 30"  16'
2' B&B** 50 12-16"  2'
3' B&B** 60-250 16-22"  3'
4' B&B** 250 22-24" 4'
5' B&B** 325 22-24"  5'
6' B&B** 150-325 16-24" 6'
7' B&B** 500-700 28-32"  7'
8' B&B** 600-700 14-30"  8'
9' B&B** 700 32"  9'
#3 container* Less than 35  10" 10" 
#5 container** 40 11" 10.5" 
#7 container** 60 14" 12" 
#10 container** 80 14" 14 
#20 container** 160 19.5" 17" 
Bare Root* varies, but always lighter no soil on roots varies depending on item

*#1 - #3 containers and bare root are the only items that can be shipped FedEx and/or by our delivery trucks (see below for more information regarding pick-up and local delivery. 

**Any items over 100 Ibs., #5 - #20 containers or B&B can only be delivered by our trucks due to FedEx shipping weight and size restrictions. Our trusted trucks only deliver around a 100 miles radius from our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Any item you order can be picked-up at our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin or our new retail garden center Winterland Nursery for free (bare root orders cannot be picked up at Winterland due to lack of bare root coolers). See our estimated delivery schedule here

Growing Zones: 3-9

Bloom Time: April
Color: Green, Yellow
Plant Size: 25' tall x 25' wide
Flower Color: White-light green
Sunlight: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Wet, Dry
Low Maintenance: Yes
Deer Resistant: No
Attracts Butterflies: No
Attracts Bees: No
Attracts Birds: No
Edible: No
Native: Yes

Product Reviews

Write Your Own Review

Only registered users can write reviews. Please log in or register.