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Campus Tour:
Hop Hornbeam

Ostrya virginiana (Hop Hornbeam, or Ironwood)

8. Continue around Galvin to the back door that opens into a walkway between galvin and the main entrance to the Technical Education Laboratory. On either side of this walkway just outside of Galvin you will see: Ostrya virginiana (Hop Hornbeam, a.k.a. ironwood). Leaves are alternate and simple. The bark of this species is characteristic and easily recognizable, even in the winter. There are narrow flat peeling strips of bark, each less than 1 inch across and a few inches in length. The wood of this species is denser (i.e. a cubic foot weighs more) than the wood of any other tree species that grows in Ohio. The wood is very hard and strong. So, if the wood of this tree is so fantastically strong then why have you never heard of hop hornbeam wood? Why does this tree have almost no commercial use? Because the species never gets very big. These trees have shallow root systems. They grow tall and straight and then fall over. The specimens behind Galvin Hall have trunks about as big in diameter as this species ever gets.

Next stop on the tree walkabout

Return to walkabout index page.