Hop-hornbeam
Ostrya virginiana



 
Small tree, 20 to 30 ft. tall with shaggy bark when young, unlike the shagbark hickory which only becomes shaggy when mature. The name comes from the resemblance of the fruit clusters to hops used in making beer.

BUDS: Round in cross section; sharp-pointed; false end buds

TWIGS: Slender; may be slightly hairy; yellow to red-brown; small catkins throughout winter

BARK: Grooved and shreddy, "hopping" bark; brownish

HABITAT: Moist soil; understory tree

USES: The tree's common name "Ironwood" refers to its tough wood used for tool handles and fenceposts. The slow grwoing tree is sometimes planted as an ornamental.

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