The leaves of the American Hornbeam are 2″ to 4″ long and are ovate shaped with an acuminated tip. The margins are doubly serrated, and the veins are pinnate. They are dull green with bright yellow fall colors.
Twig and Bud Identification
The American Hornbeam twigs are very slender and sometimes zig-zagged. The buds are brown and angled. The bud scales often have tan edges making it appear lined.
The bark of the American Hornbeam is irregularly fluted which gives the tree the distinctive muscular appearance.
The fruit of the American Hornbeam is a nutlet surrounded by leafy bracts on a long, hanging stalk.
The flowers of the American Hornbeam are yellow-green catkins. The tree is monoecious with hanging male catkins and spike-like female catkins.