Buy Hop Hornbeam at Trees-Plants. Hop hornbeam is a small tree that inhabits hardwood forests. You can find hop hornbeam growing near the edges of swamps, streams, and rivers in bottomland hammocks. Its range is throughout the Midwestern and eastern United States from northern Florida to southeastern Canada. Because hop hornbeam is not a large tree, it lacks economic importance. The wood is similar to hornbeam in its density and strength. It was also used to make tool handles for mallets and posts.