TREE SHAPE & FORM
The Blue Beech is recognized for its crooked and fluted trunk. This deciduous tree is often
described as resembling a flexed muscle. Its symmetrical canopy and smooth outline make
it very attractive. The Blue Beech has a very slow growth rate, and on average reaches 30
to 40 feet in height. (1, 2, 3)
The bark of the Blue Beech is very thin and hugs
tightly to the tree's body. The bark is also
characterized by it's smoothness as shown
in Figure 3. (1)
The Blue Beech has thin,
brown-reddish twigs as shown in
Figure 4. (3)
This tree has small imbricate buds
that are about one-fourth of an inch
long. The buds are generally
pointed and hairy, as seen in
Figure 4. (2)
The leaves on the Blue Beech
are about 2 to 4 inches long. As
shown in Figure 5, they possess
an oblong or ovate shape with double serrated edges. (3)
The Blue Beech tree has both the
male and female flowers on the
same plant. The female flowers
are four inches long and attached
to a 3-winged bract as shown
in Figure 6, while the male flowers
are not ornamentally important. (2)
The fruit produced by the Blue Beech tree is primarily a ribbed nutlet that is about 0.16 to 0.24 inches long. The nutlets grow together in small dangling clusters such as that in Figure 7. (1,2)
WOOD & ITS USES RANGE
The Blue Beech tree is usually considered a small tree The Blue Beech grows most
or large shrub. It is often used as a lawn decoration or readily in the bottom portion of
to line neighborhood streets. The wood is very hard mixed-hardwood forests. Its range
and makes for a great climbing tree for children. (3) extends from central Maine west to
southeastern Ontario, northern
Michigan, and northern Minnesota;
south to central Iowa and eastern
Texas; and east to central
Sullivan, Janet. 1994. Carpinus
caroliniana. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
Available: <http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/> [2007, June 26].
(2) "Carpinus Caroliniana." University of Connecticut. 26 Jun 2007 <http://www.hort.uconn.edu/Plants/c/carcar/carcar1.html>.
(3) Gilman, Edward F. and Dennis G. Watson. "Carpinus Caroliniana." Department of Agriculture. 26 Jun 2007 <http://hort.ufl.edu/trees/CARCARA.pdf>.
(Figure 1) Date retrieved: 06/26/07 < http://www.mystery.com/~audrey/garden/plants/carpinus_caroliniana.html >.
(Figure 2) Date retrieved: 06/26/07 <http://www.clemson.edu/extfor/publications/bul117/Carpinus_caroliniana.htm>.
(Figure 3) Date retrieved: 06/26/07 <http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/c/wcaca18br12036.jpg>.
(Figure 4) "carcarcm." 26 Jun 2007 <http://www2.una.edu/pdavis/images/trees/twigs/carcarcm.jpg>.
(Figure 5) 2007. Cook, Will. “American Hornbeam (Caprinus Caroliniana)”. Date retrieved: 06/26/07 <http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/caca.html>.
(Figure 6) "Beech". 27 Jun 2007 <http://www.flowerpictures.net/treeshrubvine/flowering_tree/pages/beech.htm>.
(Figure 7) Redfearn, Jr., Paul L.. "Cacalia Plantaginea." Missouri State University. 26 Jun 2007 <http://biology.missouristate.edu/Herbarium/Plants%20of%20the%20Interior%20Highlands/Flowers/Carpinus%20caroliniana.jpg>.
(Figure 8) Metzger, F.T. “Caprinus Caroliniana Walt”. Date retrieved: 06/26/07 <http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_2/carpinus/caroliniana.htm>.
© 2003 Herrin H.S.