On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

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RayA
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On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by RayA » Fri May 23, 2014 5:39 pm

Greetings,

Bob Leverett, Bill Finn, and I went to see some large hornbeams on a Massachusetts college campus today. Bill had encountered them on an earlier walk, and believed them to be American Hornbeam. We went with him today to verify that, but Bob and I found ourselves questioning that identification. The trees are on a forested hillside with some exceptional European larches, among other typical species as well. We are trying to determine if these are indeed American hornbeams, or perhaps European, or some variant of Carpinus caroliniana (American). We stopped at the campus greenhouse for help, but no one was available who could say definitively what they are. A look in Dirr's plant reference book left us scratching our heads. There appears to be a difference in the lateral buds between C. Betulus (European) and C. caroliniana (American) ... the European buds are pressed tightly to the twig, almost wrapping around it, whereas the American's buds are more angled away from the twig. But without winter buds to look at, that's not much help. Maybe when they are fruiting, we can see a difference.

So, can anyone help nail down this question? I have a small branchlet from one of the trees, and one from another location that I know is American hornbeam. They're very similar. Unfortunately, there aren't any good unopened buds to look at on these trees right now, and no fruit. The only thing to look at right now is newly formed leaves/twigs.

One obvious difference I noticed between the twig in question and the known-to-be-American-hornbeam is the presence of stipule-like, red stuctures on the one in question (see photos).
Both twigs have fine silvery hairs on the newest twig growth, as seen under 10x magnification, but it's more dense on the unknown one. Both have fine hairs along the veins on the undersides of the leaves, but again, more dense/longer on the unknown.

Attached is one photo of the known-to-be-American (C. caroliniana), and six of the unknown; each photo is labeled.

Anyone who can peg this down will be awarded a HUGE ice cream sundae, payable by Bob.

Thanks guys (and gals) !

Ray Asselin

Hornbeam-2.jpg
Hornbeam-1.jpg
Attachments
CarpinusCaroliniana-1.jpg
Hornbeam-6.jpg
Hornbeam-5.jpg
Hornbeam-4.jpg
Hornbeam-3.jpg

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Will Blozan
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Re: On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by Will Blozan » Sat May 24, 2014 7:14 am

Ray,

I did a quick web search and found this description of European hornbeam; " A pair of long stipules further protect the young leaf as it emerges, the tips of the stipules have a pinkish hue."

I have never noticed long stipules on American hornbeam but in reality don't experience them much. There is one right outside my window but I honestly have never looked at the emerging leaves for stipules... However, I do prune European hornbeam annually and they are quite different in my arborist perspective. The European is stouter in the twigs- which are densely hairy, and overall way more vigorous. They remind me more of beech than hornbeam.

Anyway, probably not worth the ice cream but there ya go!

Will

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dbhguru
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Re: On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by dbhguru » Sat May 24, 2014 7:38 am

Will,

There are European beech in the area. I usually think of European beech as having stiffer leaves. What is the range of leaf texture that you observe for European beech? I expect most of what I encounter is a particular cultivar that may not be representative of what you'd find in the wild in Europe.

Take a look at this European larch. It measures 8.5 feet around and 101.5 feet in height. The person in the photo is artist-photographer Barbara Bosworth. She knows BVP.
European Larch.jpg


Another measured is 9.2 feet in girth and 115.0 feet tall. They are serious larches. Beautiful trees in the Mount Holyoke College woodlands.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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RayA
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Re: On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by RayA » Sat May 24, 2014 9:50 am

Thanks for the info Will, I wasn't able so far to find anything about those red stipules. The twigs I have look pretty much the same otherwise.

But this morning I did find a bit of info in one of my books... it said the European and American hornbeams are closely related, but the European hornbeam has smooth buds and 3 to 5 veins on the leaf-like bracts around the seeds; the American has a hairy bud and 5 to 7 veins on the bracts.

So, I guess we'll have to wait a while for the seeds and buds to develop. Bob says he and Bill will bring me food and water, but no ice cream, while I wait by the trees for that to occur. Everyone should have buddies that dedicated.

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tsharp
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Re: On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by tsharp » Sat May 24, 2014 12:07 pm

Bob:
American Beech leaf - Always has 9 or more pairs of veins, European Beech has 7 or less pairs of veins. Plus the American Beech leaf has veins that end in a prominent bristle tip while the European does not.
Last edited by tsharp on Sun May 25, 2014 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Will Blozan
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Re: On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by Will Blozan » Sat May 24, 2014 12:41 pm

I never meant to imply the tree in question might be a beech- sorry for the confusion. The stouter Euro hornbeams REMIND me more of beech than Amer hornbeam...

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Jess Riddle
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Re: On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by Jess Riddle » Sun May 25, 2014 1:17 pm

Ray,

The only other info I've found on separating the two hornbeam species is that the European species has thicker leaves with deeper venation.

Jess

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RayA
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Re: On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by RayA » Mon May 26, 2014 11:11 am

Will,
I don't think Bob took your post to suggest the hornbeams are beeches (but he can speak for himself), but more as another bit of info about the property, and possibly to bolster the thought that the hornbeams might also be European; also to ask your experience with the euro beeches.

Jess,

Thank you too for your research and info.

Ray

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dbhguru
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Re: On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by dbhguru » Mon May 26, 2014 2:14 pm

Ray, Will,

Will, Ray is correct, I didn't think you were suggesting beech. I didn't express my thoughts well. I had visions of Ray and I hitting an ice cream shop on the way out. Ice cream hath power to fog up the brain.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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RayA
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:21 am

Re: On the Hornbeam of a Dilemna - Need ID

Post by RayA » Mon May 26, 2014 2:36 pm

Bob, I think research shows that fogginess of cranial function can also be caused by a lack of ice cream. Pretty sure. Sometimes too much isn't enough. (Wait a minute-- I think I just proved the theory!)

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