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Ostrya virginiana, Hophornbeam

Hophornbeam is a beautiful small tree suited for many landscapes but is rare in the nursery trade. Trees grow about anywhere except those that remain wet for extended periods. It is well adapted to city plantings such as along streets and in parking lots provided soil drainage is good. Often found in its native habitat on dry, rocky slopes with little soil, Hophornbeam is quite tolerant of drought. This tree will rarely be found in the swamps or river banks but Carpinus virginiana will. These two trees are often found as understory trees in the same forest. Both trees appear to have a relatively shallow root system on many soils.

Trees occur naturally throughout north Florida south to Alachua County. Native in eastern North America to north Florida on slopes and coves in mesic and in somewhat drier sites. Occasionally in very dry sites. Found near bottom lands but almost never where water stands for long periods. Found up to 5000 feet elevation in the southern Appalachians.

Other than some early pruning in the first 15 years to develop good structure, this tree needs little care once established. Locate it close to people so they can enjoy the wonderful bark and foliage. Good survival in ice storms. Keep trees healthy with regular fertilizer applications and water in extended drought to prevent two-lined chestnut borer damage. Trees are very tolerant of urban conditions and have survived and grow well along streets. Trees in one study in NY had trouble recovering from bare-root transplanting.

Wood is considered diffuse porous meaning that there is little difference in size of pores between spring and summer wood.

National champion is 74 x 111 feet in Michigan.

Hophornbeam Photos



Hophornbeam Leaves


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