American Hornbeam : Human Use

The hornbeam has a long history of use by humans. Due to the multi-trunked nature of the hornbeam and the extreme hardness of the wood, the hornbeam is not used commercially. Unlike other hardwoods such as maple, the trunk of the hornbeam is too narrow to provide effective lumber. However the same characteristics that make the ironwood unappealing for commercial use make it very useful for small-scale use. The wood from the hornbeam is ideal for tool handles and was essential for the settlers of north America in establishing colonies in the new world. Hornbeam has also been used for wooden cogs, golf clubs, bowls and plates because of its ability to resist cracking. The wood is also extremely efficient fuel and was a staple in the fires of white colonists and Native American tribes. In particular, the Cherokee use the hornbeam as a cure for many skin conditions and as a urinary aid.