Hardy, deciduous, Eastern North American understory tree
Description: Reddish-brown male flowers and greenish female flowers appear in separate catkins on the same tree in spring; female flowers followed by drooping, seed-bearing pods resembling hops; bark is thin, greyish brown, and flaky; dainty, beech-like leaves turn a dull gold in autumn
Habit: Grows 25-30 feet high and 20-30 feet wide
Culture: Prefers sun to part shade and moist, but well-drained, organically rich, acidic soil
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 3
Origin: Eastern United States
Attributes: Deer resistant; Drought tolerant
The American Hophornbeam is a native species occurring in dry soils or rocky slopes, upland woods, and bluffs from Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia) to Florida, Texas, and Mexico. It is a member of the Birch family, and related to Alders, Hazelnuts, and Ironwood (Carpinus). In a memorandum written about 1808-09 and likely left for his overseer Edmund Bacon, Thomas Jefferson instructed “plant horn beams & Elms” on the south side of the first Roundabout road. It is not clear if he meant Carpinus or Ostrya, but both species have extremely hard, heavy heartwood and are disease resistant and tolerant of deer, drought, and heavy, clay soil.
This plant will ship bare root. Two year seedling is approximately 2’ tall.
Bare root planting tips:
~ If you can't plant immediately, store your plant in a cool location and keep the roots moist or pot in a container with a nursery potting mix from your local garden center.
~ Before planting, let the roots soak for several hours as you prepare the site. You'll want to dig a large enough hole so the root mass can spread out and the plant is at the same soil level as when it was growing in the nursery.
~ Once planted, water it in well and wait a month before fertilizing. Mulching will help to maintain moisture and raise soil temperatures for faster growth.