Audubon® American Hornbeam
Preorder now for Spring delivery.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
For bird-friendly landscapes in small spaces, this native understory tree is hard to beat. American Hornbeam is a modestly-sized tree that’s big in benefits. A member of the Birch family, it produces buds, catkins, and seeds that many birds relish. In backyard gardens, you may find warblers, nuthatches, and finches coming to dine. In more rural areas, ruffed grouse, bobwhites, and turkeys are fans. American Hornbeam also hosts several species of caterpillars and other insects, which make up an important part of the diet of many of our native songbirds, such as wrens, robins, and orioles. It’s a full-service bird café!
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
- Spacing: 20-25'
- Exposure: Sun or Shade
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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, but nowhere is it common in landscapes. That needs to change!
The good ol' American Hornbeam, this native hardwood is not subject to cracking or splitting and was used by American pioneers for bowls and dishes. There's your history lesson for the day! Green foliage transforms into shades of yellow, orange, and red in fall - a bright contrast to the smooth gray bark. Grows best in partial shade but will also grow in full sun.
How to Grow
This Country Mouse 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, American Hornbeam is still an option if you can supply plenty of water; in fact, even occasional flooding is OK for this species. Fall color and the bronzy new foliage in spring will be brighter in sun.
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.