The American hornbeam is a native forest understory tree in the Chicago area, making it useful for shady landscapes and naturalized or woodland gardens. New leaves emerge reddish-purple, changing to dark green, then turn yellow to orange-red in the fall, offering a kaleidoscope of color throughout the year. Even in winter, the tree's fluted blue-gray bark with long, sinewy ridges make it a special addition to the landscape.
Shape: multi-stemmed, round, spreading
Height: 20-40 feet
Span: 20-30 feet
American hornbeam is often planted in parks and urban areas because of its ornamental morphology.