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ACER carpinifolium

Image of Acer carpinifolium

Jesse Saylor

Family

Aceraceae

Botanical Name

ACER carpinifolium

Plant Common Name

Hornbeam Maple

General Description

Bearing leaves that resemble those of a hornbeam, this small deciduous tree from Japan is among the most refined and unusual maples. Sinuous smooth-barked dark gray branches with reddish twigs bear narrowly oval, toothed leaves with numerous pairs of lateral veins. The leaves turn gold or bronze-yellow in fall, then to brown, often persisting through much of winter. This dense, rounded tree bears chains of small greenish flowers in spring, followed by winged green fruits that mature to brown.

Although occupying the understory in the wild, this charming tree is best planted in full sun or light shade in gardens, where it will form a short-trunked, densely branched, round-headed specimen. Moist, well-drained, acidic to neutral soil is best. This is the perfect small tree for punctuating a lawn or anchoring a woodland edge planting.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 7

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m

  • Width

    15'-30' / 4.6m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Brown, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Tan, Brown

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No