Amazing Chinese Fringe Tree Information Plus Care Tips

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Chinese Fringe Tree

Amazing Chinese Fringe Tree

Chinese fringe tree (Chionanthus Retusus) is a species that, together alongside the dogwood kousa, extends the blooming season to the latter part of April or May.

The fringe tree can attain an elevation between 20 and 15 feet.

Name of the plant: Chionanthus retusus. Chionanthus Retusus is a decorative, multistemmed plant or small tree native to China, Korea, and Japan.

It is of the same genus as Grancy Graybeard, our native species (Chionanthus virginicus). The Chinese version can be described as more refined (rounded in mature). However, it may not be so dramatic that the individual blooms are related.

The overall effect of blooms, however, is spectacular. Chionanthus retusus leaves Chionanthus Retusus are approximately 4 inches long, shiny green, and smooth. Flowers of white are moist, or 4 inches in length by three inches in width.

This Chinese fringe plant was brought into this country around the 19th century. The flowering season is for approximately two weeks between the latter part of April and into may in the Atlanta region.

Use for your landscape: Michael Dirr writes in his “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants” (Stipes 36, $36) that a person who traveled in China said that Chionanthus Retusus is a “dome of soft, fleecy snow” when it is in bloom. I think this is accurate after looking at row after row of stunning mature plants on Don Shadow’s Wholesale Nursery in Tennessee.

If I had space and an enclosure, I would be planting an entire border with Chinese border trees. Once it is over its somewhat aggressive youth, it is an excellent specimen plant.

Maintenance and planting: The best time to plant is in full sunlight.

Chinese fringe tree is adaptable to soil conditions as far as they are concerned. However, make sure you give it a great start by keeping it well-watered even when young.

It is not necessary to prune. This plant is highly resistant to temperatures and humidity.

The tree can be found between 15 and 20 feet in height and wide; with the appearance of a round design, it can have a single trunk, but more often, it has multiple trunks similar to crepe myrtle.

Many fleecy, delicately sweet flowers bloom in late spring just as the dogwood blossoms begin dying.

In contrast to the blossoms of the glitzy graybeards, which hang beneath the branches, the blooms of Chinese fringe trees are affixed to the branches’ ends above the newly sprung leaves and can last for about two weeks.

But wait, there’s More Of Chinese Fringe Tree. 

Beautiful flowers aren’t all the things this tree can provide. For those living in the Upper and the Middle South, the leaves change to a lovely soft yellow towards the end of October. Fall color might not be seen until after Thanksgiving in the Lower South.

In the Coastal South, leaves merely become brown or fade to green. Female trees form clusters of tiny, dark blue fruits that are very attractive and an obvious draw for birds.

As the leaves fall and the beautiful grey-brown, peeling bark is the main focus, bringing an additional season of interest.

Chinese Fringe Tree In the Garden

Chinese fringe tree is simple to integrate into a typical garden. You can plant it at the corner of your home or make a pair of them to create a border around an entryway.

It is possible to plant it in a large pot or make it a seasonal focal feature, grow it in clusters or even underplant it with low plants or perennials.

In reality, nearly anything you can do with crepe myrtle or lilac could work for Chinese fringe trees.

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