Carpinus betulus is a small tree to 20 m tall, habit tree-like, young bark gray-brown, smooth, lenticels prominent, bark on trunk gray, trunk corded, winter buds appressed to stems, curved inward, 0.5 cm long.
Leaves alternate, to 12 cm long, 5 cm wide, egg-shaped, tip pointed, base rounded to slightly lobed, margin doubly, sharply toothed, veins more deeply impressed than those of C. caroliniana, and retains leaves longer in fall.
Flowers in catkins; blooms April.
Fruit in elongated catkins 7-14 cm, bracts 3-lobed, 3-5 cm long, middle lobe narrowly egg-shaped, often toothed, veins 3-5.
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in New York City: Infrequent.
Habitat: Overgrown horticultural specimens.