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Blue Beech 

Latin: Carpinus caroliniana

Family: Betulaceae

Description - 4 - 7 m in height with a spread of 9m x 8m. Flat topped in woodlands, round and dense in open areas, intricately layered, shade tolerant.  Trunk is fluted with muscle like ridges.  Sometime reproduces by suckering.

 

Leaf - alternate, simple, round at base, tip short and sharp. Margins are sharply toothed with 2 alternating sizes.  Leaf stalk is slender, hairy with non-branching veins

 

Bark - beech like, mottled bluish grey, smooth. Smooth, broad horizontal patches.

 

Bud - narrowly oval, hairy, brown with white margins, 4 sided, pressed to stem.

 

Twig - new twigs are slender, pale green, hairy, and later become reddish grey with beige spots and hairless by fall.

 

Flower - male and female flowers in separate catkins on the same tree. Male catkins not visible until April.

 

Fruit - small 8 ribbed nut at base of 3 lobed leaf like bract which remains attached. Fruits are in terminal clusters.

 

Habitat - moist clay soil, stream borders, swamps.

 

Wildlife Value - nuts and buds eaten by birds, squirrels, small mammals. Liked by Vireos for nesting.

 

Wood - can be stained to look like cherry, tool handles, turning, mallets, wedges, bowls.

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48075 Jamestown Line R.R. #2, Aylmer ON N5H 2R2