The Japanese hornbeam is noted for its graceful form. It has delicate layering branches and small, toothed, dark green, pointed oval leaves. The veins in the leaves are very prominent, giving them an accordion-like appearance. This tree attracts birds, insect pollinators, and small mammals.
Family: Betulaceae (Birch)
Characteristics: The small leaves are a lush dark green, oblong-lanceolate, toothed, and have prominent veins. Leaves do not change color in the fall. Flowers appear as brown, scaled, drooping, and long catkins. This tree has a low spreading mounded shape and its branches are thin and layering. It grows 20-30 feet high and wide, though can reach up to 50 feet in its natural habitat.
Foliage: Deciduous (leaves lost seasonally)
Geographic Origin: Japan (non-native)
Cultivation Notes: This tree requires low maintenance. Does best in part-shade to full-shade. Prefers moist and organically rich soils.
Number on Campus: 1
Sources: Dirr, Morton Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden