Blue Beech

Carpinus carolinians ssp. virginiana

Blue Beech is a deciduous tree native to North America. Recognized for its smooth, blue-gray bark and distinctive serrated leaves, this tree offers both aesthetic and ecological benefits. Its smooth, slate-blue bark is a unique feature, providing year-round visual interest.

Flowers: J F M A M J J A S O N D
Origin: This tree is native to eastern North America, ranging from eastern Canada to the Gulf Coast.
Family: Betulaceae (Birch)
Size: 20′-35′
Sun: As an understory tree, it prefers partial shade, but tolerates full sun and full shade, tolerating less sun in warmer climes.
Watering: While tolerant of occasional dry spells, consistent moisture is beneficial, especially during prolonged periods of drought.
Growth Rate:
Soil: Well-drained, loamy soil is ideal, but Blue Beech is known for its adaptability to different soil types, including clay and sandy soils.
Pruning: Prune selectively for shape and structure in late winter or early spring, when the tree is dormant.
Disease and Pests:
Uses: Blue Beech provides shelter and nesting sites for various bird species. The seeds are also a food source for birds and small mammals. Its extensive root system makes it effective in stabilizing soil along streambanks, making it an excellent choice for riparian restoration projects.
Notes: Other common names include American Hornbeam, Ironwood and Musclewood

photo by whiteoak (iNaturalist)


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