The fruit clusters are distinctive and provides an excellent feature to use to identify the genus Carpinus. The nutlets of Carpinus caroliniana are subtended by an irregular 3-parted bract with the middle lobe the longest. They are very similar to the fruits of Carpinus betulus with slight differences in bract features and size.
Karren Wcisel, TreeTopics.com
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Betulaceae, Carpinus caroliniana, American hornbeam, blue beech, musclewood, ironwood, tree, deciduous