Carpinus caroliniana
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Hardiness Zone: 3-9 Height: 6-10 metres; 20-35 feet Spread: 6-10 metres; 20-35 feet Sun: Part shade to full shade Water: Medium Tolerates: Clay soil; full sun; dry conditions Culture: Easily grown in average, medium moisture soil in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, organically rich soils. Noteworthy Characteristics: Blue Beech is a slow-growing, deciduous, small to medium-sized understory tree with an attractive globular form. The smooth, gray trunk and larger branches of a mature tree exhibit a distinctive muscle-like fluting that has given rise to another common name of musclewood. The dark green leaves often produce respectable shades of yellow, orange and red in fall. The extremely hard wood of this tree will take a horn-like polish and was once used by early Americans to make bowls, tool handles and ox yokes. Garden Uses: An attractively shaped, low-maintenance understory tree for shady sites. May be grown in lawns or naturalized in woodland areas. Can be used as a hedge or screen.