American hornbeam

Carpinus caroliniana


An attractive small deciduous tree, native to the eastern US, that works well under power lines and along the street. This tree produces an attractive dark green, wide-spreading canopy that turns orange and red in the fall. The smooth gray trunk has distinctive muscle like fluting evoking its other common name, musclewood.

Power Line Approved: Yes

Min. street tree planting width: 5 feet

Mature Height: 25 feet

Mature Spread: 20 feet

Tree Shape: Rounded

Where to Plant:
Works well in smaller planting strips and under wires. Could be used at a wooded edge.

Dark green leaves during the growing season and nice orange and red fall color.

2 inch long catkins.

Clusters of winged nutlets.

Preferred Site Conditions:
Part Sun to light shade. Prefers moist, but well drained soil.

Potential Problems:
Very few disease or pest concerns in our region.

Minimum Planting Distances:

  • 15 feet from house or building
  • 3 ½ feet back from the face of the curb
  • 5 feet from underground utility lines
  • 10 feet from power poles
  • 7 ½ feet from driveways (10 feet recommended)
  • 20 feet from street lights and other existing trees
  • 30 feet from street intersections

Additional Resources