Please help identify the plant

(Question)

Hi, I’m new to gardening and has just moved in to a new house. Appreciate if you could help me identify this plant so that I know how to take care of it. Thanks in advance.

 

 

(Answer)

It looks like you have a volunteer tree in your yard! Without seeing flowers, fruits or seeds it is hard to give a firm answer. However, based on the leaf shape I believe this is with American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) or Hop Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana). If you send a photo of it’s fruits or flowers once it is larger we’ll be abel to give a more definitive answer.

Hop Hornbeams can grow 20-50ft tall with a 15-30ft spread so make sure it’s somewhere it has room to grow! It’s slow growing but adapted to most soil conditions. It does best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade.

American Hornbeam is a shorter tree, growing 15-20ft. As with the Hop Hornbeam it is fairly tolerant of a range of conditions.

With either tree – make sure it’s in a space it will have room to grow, remember to give it plenty of water (especially as a sapling) and to mulch around the base in the shape of a donut taking care not to pile mulch  on the trunk.

Here are some further links for more information on both trees:

http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_osvi.pdf

http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_caca18.pdf