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Firespire® American Hornbeam in fall
Firespire® American Hornbeam in fall
Firespire® American Hornbeam
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Firespire® American Hornbeam in fall
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Firespire® American Hornbeam in fall
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Firespire® American Hornbeam

Carpinus caroliniana / American Hornbeam Firespire®

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Height:  20 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3b

Other Names:  Blue Beech, Ironwood, Musclewood, Water Beech

Brand:  Johnson's Nursery


An exciting, narrower, more upright form of this native tree; very interesting gray bark is almost muscular in appearance, makes a strong winter statement; excellent orange-red fall color and curious hop-like fruit; a great shade tree for smaller areas

Ornamental Features

Firespire® American Hornbeam has forest green foliage throughout the season. The serrated pointy leaves turn an outstanding orange in the fall. The flowers are not ornamentally significant. It produces small clusters of tan hop-like fruit from early fall to late winter. The smooth silvery blue bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Firespire® American Hornbeam is a deciduous tree with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Firespire® American Hornbeam is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Firespire® American Hornbeam will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree performs well in both full sun and full shade. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Shade  Naturalizing 
Fruit  Fall Color  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features