At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Betulaceae
Latin Name: Ostrya virginiana
Foliage: Dark yellowish-green
Fall Foliage: Insignificant yellow
Bloom: Red-brown
Bloom Time: April
Shape: Rounded
Bark: Gray brown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 3 to Zone 9
Size: 25 to 40 feet
Spread: 20 to 30 feet
Care: Medium, well drained soil

Scientifically termed Ostrya Virginiana and belonging to the Betulaceae family, the deciduous Ironwood is a handsome native tree of eastern North America, regularly found along rocky terrains, sandy slopes, and wooded urban settings. It thrives in dense shade, though it can tolerate an environment allowing for full sun to partial shade. It has a 3-9 hardiness zone rating. Best planted in medium, well-drained soils, the Ironwood has a laudable tolerance for dry soils and drought, while it is less resilient in regards to regular flooding, salt, and soil compaction.

The slow-growing Ironwood extends up to heights of 25-40 ft., with its branches spanning out to encompass approximately 20-30 ft. Its long slender limbs are decked with yellow-jade foliage, featuring alternate leaves. This canopy transforms into a tapestry of golden-beige tinctures in the autumn. The Ironwood’s monoecious catkins (reddish-brown male flowers and green female flowers) flourish in April, though the male catkins persist throughout the winter and serve as a critical food source for a variety of wildlife (most notably for the ruffled grouse). This tree’s most characteristic feature, perhaps, is its distinctive bark, grayish-brown and comparatively thin, with fine flaky scales that easily chip off the tree. True to its name, the Ironwood’s timber is extremely resilient and dense, valued for making fence posts, tool handles, and longbows.

Serviceable and self-effacing, the Ironwood makes for a brawny lawn tree or street tree. It is an attractive addition to any urban setting, complementing the landscape with its sturdy build, pleasant fall foliage, and symmetrical rounded structure.

Mature Tree Photos: