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Carpinus species

The genus Carpinus includes the native C. caroliniana, American hornbeam and C. betulus, the common or European hornbeam, both common in the trade.
American hornbeam is a slow-growing, understory tree with an attractive globular form. It typically grows 20-35' tall. The European hornbeam grows in full sun to part shade and needs little pruning when grown as a tree, but responds well to hard pruning if grown as a hedge; it is a medium-sized, tree that grows 40-60’ tall with a pyramidal to oval-rounded crown.
Both trees produce flowers as separate male and female catkins, with the female catkins giving way to distinctive clusters of winged nutlets. Leaves are dark green and can produce respectable shades of yellow, orange and red in fall. Trunks have smooth gray bark and distinctive muscle-like fluting. Upright, columnar forms are available.
Exposure: Full sun or light shade
Soil: Tolerates medium moisture, well-drained soils
Hardiness: USDA Zone 3-9 (4-8)
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