Chionanthus retusus 'china snow' is an excellent alternative to the native fringe tree it is easily grown, tolerant of urban settings, and requires little maintenance. It can tolerate full sun to part shade, and I can't understand why it doesn't get more use and remains a relatively fringe species in the world of landscape plants.
Fringe trees are beautiful trees, particularly in the late spring early summer when they become absolutely loaded with wispy fragrant white flowers giving it the appearance of clouds floating among the branches. In the early spring, they come to life as large nodes swell to reveal new bright green growth. As growth becomes established flowers follow for a period of weeks. Though the summer the tree practically takes care of itself, thriving in clay soil and conditions where other ornamental trees struggle. Near the end of summer the tree fruits with small blue berries, which are both ornamental and enjoyed by birds. The fall color is a subdued yellow that while not spectacular will still add beauty to a fall setting.
We love the fringe tree. Whether you do or don't have time for gardening this low maintenance tree is a great choice to bring beauty into your yard. It is so versatile with light requirements, soil and and air requirements that it works well as a small ornamental in spots where dogwood, service berry, or redbud struggle. Consider planting it in an area that you can enjoy its sweet fragrant flowers during bloom.
Even though it is tough, we recommend mulching the tree with 2-3 inches of mulch and replenishing it every year to improve soil quality. Apply 9-10 month slow release fertilizer as a top dress in the fall/early winter to provide the tree with all of the nutrients it needs to grow.
|Bloom Color:||Creamy white|
|Bloom Period:||Late spring to early summer|
|Genus & Species:||Chionanthus retusus 'china snow'|
|Mature Height:||15 to 20 ft.|
|Mature Spread:||20 to 25 ft.|
|Soil Type:||Thrives in many soil types; including clay, but does best with well-drained soil rich in organic matter.|
|Sun Exposure:||Full sun to part shade|
|Zone:||5 to 9|
General care for any tree or shrub is easy, please educate yourself and follow these simple rules.