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Tree Browser

With these characteristics: None

Fringetree or White Fringetree

Chionanthus virginicus

Oleaceae - Olive

Description

Leaves: Opposite; simple; oval to ovate; 4" to 8" long, 1/2 as wide; deciduous; entire margin; dark green and shiny above; paler beneath with at least some pubescence; petiole 1/2" to 1" long and hairy; fall color yellow to yellow-brown.

Twigs/buds: Twigs stout; more or less hairy; green-brown; somewhat 4-angled.  Terminal bud present; ovoid, with 3 sets of ridged scales, green to brown.

Flowers/fruit: Flowers polygamo-dioecious; showy; white; with 3/4" to 1-1/4" long petals on male and female flowers that give a soft, fleecy effect; held in 4" to 8" long groups that bloom in late may to early June.  Fruit a blue-black, ovoid drupe; 1/2" to 3/4" long; covered with a whitish waxy coating; ripens late summer.

Bark: Thin and smooth on young branches; gray to red-brown; becoming scaly and ridged.

Wood: Unimportant; dense; hard.

General: Native to the southeastern U.S.  Adaptable to a wide range of sites.  Naturally grows in wet areas and is shade tolerant.

Landscape Use: A large shrub to medium-sized tree with beautiful flowers and good form.  This tree is doing well in Salt Lake and Utah Counties, particularly at Red Butte Gardens, in the Murray Arboretum (a different species), and at the American Fork LDS Temple.  Very popular in Europe.  Should tolerate high pH soils and heat, but also is cold hardy.  Should be planted more often in Utah.  Zones 3-9.

In the last few years an exotic pest, emerald ash borer (EAB), has been making its way across the U.S. So far it has decimated populations of ornamental and native ashes and recently was found to attack fringetree (Chionanthus spp.) as well. So far EAB has not made it to Utah, but it seems likely that it will. So, plant ashes and fringetrees with caution since they may not be around for long. Some have hope that trunk injection of insecticides may work to control the pest.

Cultivar: 'Floyd'.

Characteristics

General

Family:
Oleaceae - Olive
Cultivar Availability:
Yes
Hardiness Zone:
3-9
Type:
Broadleaf
Utah Native:
No

Growth

Growth Rate:
Low
Mature Height:
Medium
Longevity:
Medium
Is Good Under Power Lines:
No
Crown Shape:
Shrubby

Ornamental

Bark:
No
Fall Color:
No
Flowers:
Yes
Foliage:
No
Fruit:
No

Tolerence

Shade:
High
Salt:
Medium
Drought:
Medium
Poor Drainage:
High
Alkalinity:
Medium
Transplanting:
Medium