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American Hornbeam

American Beauties Native Plants

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  • Full Shade to Full Sun (Can Grow In Most Sunlight Conditions)
  • Mature Height 20 - 35 Feet
  • Mature Spread 20 - 35 Feet
  • Growing Zones 3 - 9

Great for all seasons, American Hornbeam, or Carpinus Caroliniana, is an attractive tree that does well in difficult-to-landscape, shady areas. Naturally, it is an understory tree that is loved by wildlife of all kinds. The American Hornbeam grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide. Leaves emerge reddish-purple transforming into a deep green with serrated veins during the summer. As the season progresses, the leaves turn shades of crimson and bright gold. In spring, flowers appear as separate male and female catkins, followed by clusters of winged nutlets that are loved by nesting songbirds. When winter comes, it exposes the trees' unique blue-gray bark and fluted branches.

American Hornbeam is a native of the northeastern United States. It is a deciduous hardwood tree, and, as an understory tree, it can be found below the high canopy of other trees. It can grow with as little as four hours of sunlight per day, and would look charming as a standalone tree beside a creek, on the edge of a woodland, or en masse as a hedge. Even though it can tolerate shade, when it gets more sunlight, it becomes more dense with more vivid colors.

American Hornbeam Care

American Hornbeam is low-maintenance and can tolerate many types of soils and pH as long as they are well-drained. It is an average consumer of water and is disease resistant. The Hornbeam is home to many types of birds and butterflies. After planting, it is recommended to protect the plant with a 2 to 3 inches of mulch. Fertilization needs for the American Hornbeam are minimal. 

The American Hornbeam does not need a lot of pruning if left as a standalone tree. It is easy-to-grow, and all you need to do is clear any diseased, dead, or crossing branches. If used in a hedge, prune the hedge to your desired size and shape. You should plan on pruning your American Hornbeam in the fall after the leaves have dried up.

American Hornbeam Spacing

The American Hornbeam likes to be in cool areas. Choose locations where the soil temperature does not get too high, or is shaded during peak temperatures. If you are planting the Hornbeam for a hedge, space your trees at least 3 feet apart.

American Hornbeam Information

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 - 9
Plant Type: Trees
Light Exposure: Full Shade to Full Sun (Can Grow In Most Sunlight Conditions)
Mature Height: 20 - 35 Feet
Mature Spread: 20 - 35 Feet
Spacing: 20 - 35 Feet
Habit: Upright
Flower Color(s): None
Flower Description:
Bloom Period:
Foliage Type: Deciduous
Foliage Color(s): Green, Orange, Red, Yellow
Foliage Description: Red, Orange And Yellow Fall Color
Seasonal Interest: Spring Flowering, Fall Interest
Watering: Average
Resists: Disease, Pests & Insects
Tolerates: Heat
Attracts: Birds
Container Role:
Uses: Specimen or Focal Point, Wildlife Gardens
Features: Attracts Pollinators, Foliage Interest
Common Name: American Hornbeam
Other Name(s):

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Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.