Native Flame® American Hornbeam Tree
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Native Flame® American Hornbeam Tree
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Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Exposure: Part Shade to Sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Show more ›

Native Flame® American Hornbeam

Carpinus caroliniana ‘JFS-KW6’

This plant is not available at this time through Bower & Branch. Bower & Branch provides this information for reference only. Please click here to be placed on a waiting list. See below for other selections.

A superior selection of a superior tree! American Hornbeam is a charming, underused, small native tree also known as Musclewood for its smooth, sculpted trunk. Another of its attributes is its beautiful fall color, but this can be inconsistent—golden on some trees, orange or red on others. Native Flame American Hornbeam takes away the uncertainty and supplies blazing scarlet-red foliage every year. When the show is over, it drops its leaves cleanly, not hanging onto the brown foliage as some Hornbeams do. Native Flame grows moderately fast and assumes an upright habit with a strong central leader. Highly recommended.

Growth Facts

  • Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Exposure: Part Shade to Sun
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Show more ›

Recommended by Our Growers

The Story

Perhaps you know American Hornbeam by one of its other names: Blue Beech, Water Beech, Ironwood, or Musclewood. Quite likely, you have seen it on a hike through the woods—once encountered, it is seldom forgotten. Its trunk, like rippling muscles under a thin skin of bark, begs to be touched, and its fiery fall color rivals that of some Maples. American Hornbeam is found in wild spaces all over the eastern U.S and even into Canada and Mexico. This special selection was raised in a nursery, at J. Frank Schmidt & Sons, in Boring, Oregon.

The Details

Valuable to wildlife, too! Native Flame American Hornbeam’s small seeds appeal to songbirds, and finches, warblers, and nuthatches may flit among its branches, looking for a bite. The foliage feeds gorgeous tiger swallowtail and red-spotted purple butterflies.

How to Grow

This country dweller is sensitive to some of the grittier elements of city life—salt, pollution, baking sun—but with a little thought to its siting and aftercare, it is a remarkably trouble-free tree. Surely it is adaptable if it has established itself from Canada to Mexico! If your lot affords no shade, Native Flame American Hornbeam is still an option if you can supply plenty of water; in fact, even occasional flooding is OK. Fall color and the bronzy new foliage in spring will be brighter in sun.

More Info

Cold Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 5
Heat Tolerance/Hardiness Zone 9
Exposure Part Shade to Sun
Avg Mature Height 30'
Avg Mature Width 20'
Growth Rate Slow
Leaf Color Dark Green
Fall Leaf Color Bright Red, Yellow, & Orange
Flower Color Orange Catkin
Flower Time Spring
Fruit Color N/A
Fruit Time N/A
Foliage Color Dark Green
Bloom Time Spring
Cary Award Winner No
PA Gold Medal Award No
Attractive Bark No
Attracts Birds Yes
Attracts Butterflies No
Attracts Hummingbirds No
Attracts Pollinators No
Deer Resistant No
Drought Tolerant No
Dry, Poor Soils No
Edible Fruit No
Fragrant No
Groundcover No
Hedge/Windbreak No
Native Yes
Salt Tolerance/Seashore No
Seasonal Cut Branches No
Shade Tolerance Yes
Showy Flowers No
Specimen Yes
Urban Conditions Yes
Utility Line Trees No
Wet Moist Soils No
Winter Interest No
Woodland Garden No
Decor/Craft Use No

Size Guide

Size Guide Scale


Size: B

Size B

This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.

Size B Trees:

6-8' Tall. Grown in our #15 tree container. This tree is a very cool and sturdy tree. This will be one of your favorites for years to come.

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Native Flame® American Hornbeam Tree