It’s Planting Season!
Throughout the month of May we will be posting our Staff picks for ‘Tree of the Week’. We hope you enjoy learning about these trees and that perhaps it inspires you to plant a new tree this spring in your yard.
Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)Mature Height: 10m Mature Spread: 7m
The common name “Ironwood” could not be more accurate for this strong wooded species. If you desire strength and durability in a tree, this loyal understory species will be a diverse contribution to the urban forest.
Ironwood (also known as American Hophornbeam) has a ruggedness that helps it grow, literally, between a rock and a hard place. Tolerant of poor soil conditions it is well adapted to downtown city plantings, reclamation planting or planting near a deck/patio. With a shallow root system this hardy tree is quite tolerant of drought and needs little care once established.
This species can be distinguished from other trees by its unique grayish-brown bark which peels off in narrow strips. Ironwood has a light green leaf and lovely yellow fall colour. The oval shape of this species is complimented by its finely textured crown and slender drooping branches.
Not only is Ironwood attractive to humans, but it proves to be an appealing species for many birds and mammals. It has been said that the scales that enclose the tree’s nutlet make it appear to be wrapped in a paper bag. The perfect lunch for Ontario wildlife!
“Trees are the best monuments that a man can erect to his own memory. They speak his praises without flattery, and they are blessings to children yet unborn.” — Lord Orrery