Blue Beech - Carpinus caroliniana
Also commonly called Musclewood and American Hornbeam (sometimes Ironwood but that more properly refers to Ostrya virginiana).
Features: Its attractive, smooth gray bark explains the 'muscle' name. This is a great small to medium sized tree. As a member of the Birch family, it produces catkins as its flower and fruit. Highly adaptable to many soil types.
Light: Partial to full sun
Soil: many types, dry to moist
Height: 15 to 25 ft.
Width: 10 to 20 ft.
Flower color: yellow to light brown
Fall color: orange red
Special note: loved by birds
Photos: Possibility Place 1, Illinois Wildflowers 2, North Carolina State University 3.