Help finding a tree

Sweetgum tree and stump after it was removed

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By Nathan Zenser

My parents cut down the dreaded sweetgum tree… tired of picking up gum balls. They now need a tree replacement for the north side of the house. The site gets sun and is somewhat dry. They are looking for a mid-size tree.

I have done research and thought I found the perfect tree: Eastern Hop Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana). The problem is that I can’t find anyone who sells this tree. We want a decent-sized tree, not a seedling. Does anyone know of nurseries that carry nice size native trees, like the Eastern Hop Hornbeam? I’m also open to other tree species suggestions for the site.

6 thoughts on “Help finding a tree

  1. Local nurseries can order in a tree of your choosing. Forest Keeling in Clarksville, mo has a large selection of native trees in various sizes

  2. Black gum, Nyssa sylvatica, is also worth considering.

    Note, deer love them, so if those hungry herbivores are in your neighborhood, you’ll want to fence the baby tree. I have one in my front yard, planted the autumn of 2010. It was first ravaged by cicadas in 2011, then by deer, rabbits almost girdling it, and drought in 2012. Finally this summer, nonetheless alive and well, it has exceeded its size when I bought it.

  3. Hi Ana. I will call the nursery thanks.
    In regards to transplanting.. I think those sites are referring to people digging up wild trees and transplanting them… not buy trees grown in nurseries.

    When used as an ornamental, hop hornbeam should be transplanted as a balled and burlapped plant. Balling and burlapping improves the tree’s chances for establishment.


  4. Nathan
    Your idea is a good one. I also like James idea. The black gum is beautiful in the fall sort of red orange. I also like our native Wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus) with its cool pink fruit, and our native smoke tree (Cotinus obovatus), and our native flowering dogwood (I know everyone has this but it is so pretty, or a service berry (Amelanchier arborea) the first tree to bloom in the spring.
    I believe these can tolerate your location.
    It would be so nice to have a place to fit in a new tree.
    Kathy B

  5. Pea Ridge Forest is one of the best wholesale nurseries for B &B trees in the state of Missouri, and they grow many native species. They have an online catalog on their website: . They don’t have any eastern hop hornbeam, but do have many other species and sell to many respected retail nurseries and garden centers in the St. Louis area and throughout the midwest. Sherwood’s Forest buys from them.

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