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White Fringe Tree is one of those “best kept secrets”—and if the secret gets out, everyone will want one! In spring, this small, multi-stemmed ornamental tree will grace your garden with fluffy clouds of unflowerlike flowers that look like thin white ribbons. The blossoms will perfume your porch or patio with a wonderful scent that’s soapy-sweet but never overpowering. In late summer, female trees bear grape-like blue berries that are relished by birds. (Fringe Trees are grown from seed, so there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll get a girl.) Happy in sun or shade, moist soil or dry, this adaptable American native could be the answer for any part of your yard needing a little zing.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
- Spacing: 15-20'
- Exposure: Sun/Part Shade
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Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish scientist who got the honor of naming most of the plants we still grow today (it was his system, after all), gave this tree the poetic name Chionanthus (Ki-o-NAN-thus)—Chion meaning “snow” and anthus meaning “flower.” The species name he gave it was virginicus, as it is native to Virginia and several other states in the Southeast. Jefferson grew it at Monticello. Its slow growth has made White Fringetree an uncommon tree in the landscape. Be the first on the block to grow this fine native!
Who said fringe is out of style? Not us! Well, on a tree anyway...the spreading open habit of this gorgeous tree is perfect for a specimen plant. Green leaves emerge in spring, followed by an abundance of fragrant, lacy white flowers. Yellow foliage graces the branches in fall - quite a seasonal display!
How to Grow
The White Fringetree is actually a member of the Lilac family – which would explain the heavenly fragrance of those flowers! White Fringetree is slow growing, and considered to be a relatively small tree, growing to about 20 feet tall. They enjoy full sun and long walks on the beach. White Fringetrees are tolerant of wet soil conditions and are free of pests as well. Applying a medium rate fertilizer to your young tree will be beneficial. Once a year in the fall apply your fertilizer, this will supply your White Fringetree with essential nutrients needed to produce lush new growth and blooms for the following growing season. This should only be done for the first 3 or 4 years. The task of pruning your White Fringetree is almost non-existent.
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.
Size A Trees:
3' Tall. Grown in our #7 tree container. This tree will put on quite a flower show even at this size and will make an impact on your landscape.
Size B Trees:
4' Tall. Grown in our #15 tree container. This tree can fit in to most SUV's but don't let the size fool you this tree is going to be a fixture in your landscape for years.
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