American Hornbeam

Product Code: hamer

Hornbeam, American (Carpinos caroliniana)
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Details

The American Hornbeam is a slow growing, small tree that has a 'muscular' twist in the trunk. It has an irregular, wide spreading form that makes it a unique tree for the landscape. It has dark green leaves that change to yellow, orange and scarlet in fall. The smooth, slate gray bark adds winter interest. It will grow in heavy shade and wet soils. Mature size is around 20-30' tall x 20-30' wide. Hardiness zone 3.

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

  • B&B - Soak root ball very well.
  • 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 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.

Pruning - After Planting

  • B&B - Although it is not essential for B&B 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 American Hornbeam is a slow growing, small tree that has a 'muscular' twist in the trunk.
  • It has an irregular, wide spreading form that makes it a unique tree for the landscape.
  • It has dark green leaves that change to yellow, orange and scarlet in fall.
  • The smooth, slate gray bark adds winter interest.
  • It will grow in heavy shade and wet soils.
  • Mature size is around 20-30' tall x 20-30' wide.
  • Hardiness zone 3.  
  • 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

Color: Blue, Green, Orange, Red
Plant Size: 20-30' tall x 20-30' wide
Fall Color: Yellow, orange, red
Sunlight: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Wet, Dry
Low Maintenance: Yes
Deer Resistant: No
Attracts Butterflies: Yes
Attracts Bees: Yes
Attracts Birds: No
Edible: No
Native: Yes

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