European Hornbeam

Arbor walk #74

This adaptive species is often grown as a shield or hedge plant in urban settings, as it grows a thick canopy that extends most of the way to the ground. 

Name European Hornbeam
Latin Name Carpinus betulus
Type Adaptive
Diameter 3.25″ dbh
Color of Leaf Dark green
Shape of Leaf Ovate, sharply toothed, up to 5″ long
Color of Flower Male yellow, female greenish
Shape of Flower Male catkins to 1 1/2″ long, female catkins to 3″ long
Fruit Characteristics Small nutlets in 3-lobbed bracts in drooping 5″ clusters in summer
Bark Characteristics Gray, distinctive muscle like fluting
Foliage Type Deciduous

The leaves often have distinct ridging and turn bright yellow/orange in fall. The nut-like fruits mature in a similar fashion to beads on a string in October. The Hornwood, also known as ironwood due to its very strong wood which rarely cracks, is often used to build mallets, wheel cogs, wooden screws and pianos. Because this tree only grows to be 30 feet tall, due to its strong, low growing branches, this tree is perfect for climbing.

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