Hop Hornbeam Eastern

#15 Hop Hornbeam Eastern

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Latin Name: Ostrya virginiana

Height: 25 - 40 feet

Spread: 20 - 30 feet

Sunlight: Full Sun; Part Sun; Part Shade

Hardiness Zone: 3-9


The Eastern Hop Hornbeam is a native tree that grows as a natural understory tree. It is also adaptable to clay soils and urban sites, although it does not like salt or flooding. This tree has a pyramidal shape and slowly grows to more of a rounded to oval shape at maturity. Averaging 1 to 1.5 feet a year, this tree has multiple horizontal to drooping limbs and dense, dense wood. The bark will look as if it is peeling away from the trunk. Dark green leaves resembling birch leaves will change to red-orange and yellow in autumn. A number of the brown leaves will remain hanging on the tree throughout winter. While not showy, the hop hornbeam produces male catkins in the winter and female catkins in April, both found on the same tree. The female catkins give way to the showy fruit, which resembles hops in its light green, papery capsules. These fruits will feed wild birds and other various wildlife found in the woodland setting. Hop Hornbeams can tolerate full shade, although usually not dense shade.

Attracts: Birds; various wildlife

Other Names: American Hop Horn Beam; Hophornbeam; Ironwood; Iron Wood