Common Name: Blue Beech
Scientific Name: Carpinus caroliniana
Leaf: Simple, alternate, elliptical, 5-13 cm long; double toothed; dark green in summer, and yellowish, orange, to red in fall.
Flower: Male and female flowers appear on the same tree; female 3-lobed leaf-like bracts; male catkins, 25 – 40 mm long, are showy with red and green colours; appear in late March.
Fruit: Small (6-9 mm) ovoid nutletsfound in the axil of a three-lobed bract.
Twig: Slender, rusty brown color.
Bark: Smooth, dark gray color with bluish grey stripes; very distinctive muscle-like texture – hence the name musclewood.
Wood: Very heavy, hard, tough, strong and durable; heartwood is light brown; sapwood thick and lighter coloured.
Facts About this Tree:
1. This is often one of the first trees we learn to recognize. In any season, its fluted trunk, so like a flexed muscle, gives it distinction.
2. Blue Beech is free of serious insect and disease problems, but the roots are very sensitive to compaction and other disturbances, so the root zone should be properly mulched in urban landscapes. Its tough wood makes blue beech resistant to ice adn wind damage.
3. The wood is of limited use because of the tree’s small size and wide dispersion.
4. It has been used for levers, home-made tool handles, and fuel.
5. Blue beech’s nuts are eaten by many birds and by squirrels. Vireos like it for nesting.
Lat, Long: 43.75301, -79.65207
Diameter (DBH): 8.4 cm
Last Year Modified: 2015
Carbon Stored in this Tree: 10.306 kg of C
Equivalent CO2: 37.785 kg of C
1. Blouin, Glen. 2001. An Eclectic Guide to Trees East of the Rockies. Erin, ON. Boston Mills Press
2. Petrides George A. 1998. A Field Guide to Eastern Trees: Eastern United States and Canada, Second Edition. NY. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
3. Gerry Waldron. 2003. Trees of Carolinian Forest – A Guide to Species, Their Ecology and Uses. ON. Boston Bills Press
4. Ministry of Natural Resources. 2013. The Tree Atlas. Retrieved from http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/ClimateChange/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_101493.html
5. Photo Credit: Kathryn Chin; muhlenberg.edu –
http://www.muhlenberg.edu/cultural/graver/Collections/WetlandPlants/FacultatSmall/MuscleBarkClose.JPG; Carpinus caroliniana 3 by Fepup, via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carpinus_caroliniana_3.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Carpinus_caroliniana_3.JPG; Carpinus caroliniana at UBCBG by Wendy Cutler, via Flickr – https://flic.kr/p/ejgv2i; American Hornbeam by Dendroica cerulea, via Flickr – https://flic.kr/p/ejgv2i
Copyright 2015Association for Canadian Educational Resources
You can camp at Claireville Conservation Area. A short distance from downtown Toronto, Indian Line Campground offers an urban escape amidst the beauty and nature of Claireville Conservation Area. Visit http://goo.gl/xytjmC for more information.