SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carpinus caroliniana
COMMON NAME: Musclewood, American Hornbeam
GARDEN SIZE: 20-30 ft. tall, 20-30 ft. wide
GROWTH RATE: slow (up to 1 ft. per year)
USDA ZONE: 3-9
PLANT ORIGIN: Eastern United States, including Tennessee
EXPOSURE: Part Sun to Full Shade
WATER & SOIL: Prefers slightly acidic sandy or clay loam with high organic matter, and regular moisture. Water deeply on a regular basis during its first planted year. Average water needs after that; will need additional water in times of drought. Found in moist woodlands along waterways and the bottoms and slopes of rocky ravines and valleys.
HABIT (FORM): Upright, full to ground
FOLIAGE: Deciduous. Green leaves turn gold/yellow.
FLOWERS: Male and female catkins occur on the same tree, yielding nutlets in fall.
WILDLIFE VALUE: Supports numerous native butterflies and moths (Walnut Sphinx moth, Banded Purple and Red-spotted Admiral butterfly, Purple-crested Slug butterfly, Funerary Dagger moth, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Blinded sphinx, Spiny Oak-slug moth, Luna moth, Hickory Tussock, Imperial moth, Polyphemus moth, lo moth, Cecropia silkmoth, Whitemarked Tussock Moth, and many others), birds, squirrels, deer, and beaver.
CARE: Fertilize in early years as it establishes with Plant-tone or a similar fertilizer in early spring or later in the fall when plant is dormant.