Hornbeam/Blue Beech/Musclewood/Carpinus Caroliniana
I saw some trees in the yard of a 100-year old home in Quitman, MS, last summer that had the most beautiful bark! It was blue gray, very smooth, and the leaves looked similar to elm leaves - I'm familiar with beech trees, and these were definitely not that. I thought they might be carpinus caroliniana, also known as blue beech, musclewood, and hornbeam, so I ordered two of them from Mail Order Natives in Lee, Florida, and potted them up to plant later, probably next fall. The bark on my little trees is brown, not at all like what I expected. Do hornbeams really have blue gray bark? Maybe they develop it with age?
If anybody is familiar with what our native carpinus caroliniana looks like, please let me know! :)