Characteristics of American Hornbeam Tree (Carpinus caroliniana) in the Wild

Carpinus caroliniana
American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) is a species of deciduous tree in the genus Carpinus, which originated in eastern North America, from Minnesota to northern Florida. It is also found growing in several areas of Canada.

American hornbeam including trees that like shady areas, fertile and deep soil. Although the tree grows very well on deep soil, the root system of the American hornbeam tree is shallow and spread laterally (rarely entering deep soil).

Two subspecies are widely integrated, those are Carpinus caroliniana ‘Caroliniana’ and Carpinus caroliniana ‘Virginiana’.

Carpinus caroliniana ‘Caroliniana’ grows along the Atlantic coast north of Delaware, and west of the Mississippi Valley, east of Texas. Whereas Carpinus caroliniana ‘Virginiana’ occupies the Appalachian mountains and western Minnesota and southern Arkansas.


Characteristics of the American Hornbeam Leaf

Carpinus caroliniana Leaf
Source : veilleux

The leaves change (fall), the length is 7-12 cm, the bones of the leaves are visible, and the edges of the leaves are jagged.


Characteristics of American Hornbeam Flower

Carpinus caroliniana Flower
Source : Nurseries, Inc

The flowers appear in the spring along with young leaves.


Characteristics of American Hornbeam Fruit

Carpinus caroliniana Fruit
Source : Ferraro

The fruit is small, 7-8 mm long, surrounded by 3-7 small unbalanced leaves 2-3 cm long, and the fruit ripens in autumn.

American hornbeam fruit cannot germinate immediately until the spring of the second year (must go through a dormancy phase).


Characteristics of the American Hornbeam Tree

Carpinus caroliniana Tree
Source : Wallace

The tree grows as a small to moderate tree with a height of 10-15 meters with a crooked trunk. American hornbeam trees are usually found along the banks of rivers and swamps, it likes the soil in a little wet.

The bark is smooth, greenish-gray, and often cracks on old trees.

American hornbeam wood, including good quality wood, has a heavy, hard texture, and is widely used to make bows and golf clubs.


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