American hornbeam is a terrific landscape tree for naturalized areas with rich, moist, slightly acidic soil. Male and female catkins are found on the same plant and emerge in early spring. The catkins provide food for many songbirds and are also a host plant and nectar source for a wide variety of butterflies such as; eastern tiger swallowtail, striped hairstreak, and red-spotted purple. Brown nutlets ripen the fall and provide food for ruffed grouse, ring-necked pheasants, bobwhite, turkey, fox, and gray squirrels. During the autumn the deep green foliage turns yellow to orange and red. In nature this tree is found in the understory so, it will tolerate a great deal of shade but will also perform well in sunnier sites.
Easy to grow, low maintenance tree. Consider it for rain gardens and bioswales, erosion control and stream bank stabilization.