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I, personally, have had many long conversations with others about "ironwood" (or "hornbeam") only to find out well into the dialogue that the two of us were talking about totally different species of tree! American hornbeam is typically an understory tree, most often found in bottomland forests, swamps, or along rivers and streams throughout much of the eastern United States. “Male” catkins are not visible until spring, typically 2.5-4 cm (1-1.75 in) long, and are greenish in color. February 2011. This southwestern tree lives in desert habitats and provides shade and food for many species. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studied Forest Management. They hang off the very tip of the branches and blow prettily in the breeze until they are dispersed by birds and insects. It is no surprise that the strong wood of this tree has given it several other common names; American hornbeam, musclewood, and ironwood. This species has many common names, but the common name Blue-Beech stems from its bark having a strikingly similar look to that of American Beech. This species has many common names, but the common name Blue-Beech stems from its bark having a strikingly similar look to that of American Beech. This phenomenon is present in lots of trees like basswood, elm, and hackberry and is called shoot-tip abortion. American hornbeam is also called musclewood because of the sinewy appearance of its smooth gray bark. Carpinus caroliniana, or Blue Beech, is a member of Betulaceae (the birch family). Squirrels, rabbits, and beaver eat the seeds, wood, and bark. There is one Musclewood mapped in the arboretum. All of these make excellent hot ans long burning firewood. In fact, early pioneers found these trees ideal for making mallets and other tools as well as bowls and dishes. Musclewood comes from the muscular look of the trunk. Musclewood is a relatively small, slow-growing, and short-lived tree which usually grows in the understory of our mixed-hardwood forests. February 2011. November 1 - March 31Tue - Fri  Noon - 6 p.m.Saturday  9 a.m. - 5 p.m.Sun & Mon  Closed, April 1 - October 31Tue - Thur Noon - 7 p.m.Friday Noon - 6 p.m.Saturday  9 a.m. - 5 p.m.Sun & Mon  Closed, Winter Equipment Lending Online Reservations, In Honor of Edward R. Wagner and Lewis G. Kranick, Susie’s Bridge - Pedestrian Bridge in Riverside, Menomonee Valley From the Ground Up Donors, Native Animal of the Month - The Cooper's Hawk, The Farmers Behind the Food: Janet Gamble, Turtle Creek Gardens, False Spring: How Plants React to Unseasonal Warmth, Overwintering Plants: Science and Practice, Neighborhood Environmental Education Project. American hornbeam is also known as blue-beech, and musclewood. Blue beech’s official name is American hornbeam without the “hop.” Its bark looks very different: smooth, blue-gray and muscular. 4 m tall, and was in fair condition due to a wound at the base of the tree. A closely related tree, the blue beech (Carpinus caroliniana), also carries the hornbeam and ironwood names. have also performed well in community gravel beds and fall plantings if the root zone is covered with at least two inches of wood mulch before the ground freezes (12). We also refer to Musclewood … The name hornbeam refers to the genuine strength of its wood — it is one of the hardest and strongest woods in North America. Musclewood has many great characteristics: hardiness, pest and insect resistance, lovely bark and limbs, alkaline soil tolerance, 2” to 4” flowers of pendulous leafy green bracts, and superb fall color. Habitat: Grows on moist, rocky, wooded slopes. Information about the common street trees of Albion, Michigan [Internet]. It is another important sub-dominant tree that makes up the understory layer of the forest. This species is highly shade-tolerant, slow growing, and short lived. The fruits are small nuts that ripen in mid-summer but are usually persistent until late fall after the leaves have fallen. Hop hornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, has light brown shreddy bark and gets the hop hornbeam name from the cluster of overlapping seed pods which resemble a cone of fruits on a hop vine. Come to our Riverside Park location and walk to the iron arch on the northwest corner of the building, just past the climbing wall. I, personally, have had many long conversations with others about "ironwood" (or "hornbeam") only to find out well into the dialogue that the two of us were … [cited 9 May-2016]. The serviceberries have multiple stems and look more like shrubs, so concentrate on the tree-like plants with the gray muscly-looking bark! Its other common name Ironwood is used to describe the dense, tough wood of this species. 3 vols. The edges of the leaves are doubly serrate, which means that the serrations on the edge of the leaf have their own serrations. Caitlin is a firm believer that Wisconsin is the best and most beautiful state in the union. It's an amazing question that people have been trying to answer since the phenomenon was first discovered in 1822. Carpinus caroliniana, commonly called American hornbeam, is a slow-growing, deciduous, small to medium-sized understory tree with an attractive globular form.It is native to Missouri where it is typically found in rich moist woods, valleys, ravine bottoms and rocky slopes along streams throughout the eastern and Ozark regions of the state (Steyermark). It is also called ironwood for its very dense timber. Peattie, Donald C. 1948. It has many common names, the most common include: blue beech because of its very smooth gray bark, and musclewood referring to its muscle-like branches which are irregularly fluted. Plant Profiles: HORT 2242 Landscape Plants II Botanical Name: Carpinus caroliniana Common Name: American hornbeam, blue beech, ironwood, musclewood Family Name: Betulaceae – birch family General Description: Carpinus caroliniana is a native large shrub to small tree that is widely distributed throughout eastern United States, south to Florida and Texas, and even into parts of Mexico. The smooth gray bark over an irregularly ridged trunk suggests a muscled limb thereby providing the basis for one of its common names, "musclewood". Walters. Barnes BV, Wagner, WH Jr. 2004. To have an upright cultivar with all these attributes is In Minnesota, it is found in the understory in forests of maple, basswood, oak, cherry and white birch. A natural history of trees of eastern and central North America. 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