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Tips on Caring for Fringe Trees

April 26, 2023
Tips on Caring for Fringe Trees
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If you’re looking for a tree to provide those wonderful white and wispy flowers that give your landscape a sense of vitality and beauty, you want to look into fringe trees. These trees are easy to grow, and when the petals fall, it looks almost like snow directly under the tree. But what is a fringe tree, and how do you care for it? Let’s look into some fringe tree facts below.

What is a Fringe Tree?

So what is a fringe tree? Fringe trees go by the botanical name Chionanthus virginicus, and they are native to the southeastern United States. As for fringe tree height, they are relatively small trees, growing only between 10 to 20 feet in height at their largest, so they are appropriate for just about any garden or landscape.

If you find yourself asking the questions “what does a fringe tree look like?” and “when do fringe trees bloom?” we’ve got the answers. In spring, they explode in beautiful white flowers, followed by hanging purple or blueberries that attract birds and other wildlife. Luckily, these fruits and flowers don’t leave behind a horrible mess requiring maintenance that you need to clean up using often landscaping services.

Additionally, fringe tree branches are quite strong and resistant to weather, so you don’t need to worry too much about them being damaged. However, if you want the delicate flowers to last as long as possible, you’ll want to plant them where there isn’t much wind.

Fringe Tree Care

Beautiful Fringe Tree

Caring for fringe trees is pretty low maintenance, but there are definitely some best practices to abide by.

  • If you want your fringe trees to thrive, make sure you plant them in moist and well-drained soil in either full sun or partial shade.
  • Depending on how many flowers you want, your planting location will make a difference, as more sun means more flowers.
  • When planting, make sure you dig the hole as deep as the root ball and at least two to three times wider. After the tree is placed, simply backfill the soil to its original level.
  • Make sure you water the area thoroughly when the area is half full of soil and then once more when it’s completely filled, slightly tamping down to get rid of the air pockets.
  • Make sure you keep the trees watered before the soil around the roots has a chance to dry at root depth completely.
  • Make sure you fertilize annually unless the soil is naturally fertile.
  • You do not need to prune fringe trees as the canopy will naturally develop a pretty oval shape. So if you’re wondering how to prune a fringe tree, don’t worry about it.

Fringe Tree Diseases

Fringe trees do not typically develop the disease, but there is a problem or two that these trees may deal with. Threats like scales and spider mites can be avoided simply by planting your tree in the right place and keeping it healthy by fertilizing and watering it when necessary.

Injured or stressed trees could also be susceptible to borers, insects that burrow into trees and feed on the bark. In particular, fringe trees are secondary hosts for emerald ash borers, so if you know these insects are active in the area, avoid planting your fringe tree there.


Earth Development has extensive experience in providing tree selection and care services in Wisconsin, including helping with planting and caring for fringe trees. Contact our consultants if you have any questions.

Eddy Zakes
Eddy is a distinguished expert in the snow removal and landscaping industry, boasting over 20 years of experience. As an Advanced Snow Manager certified by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA), he is dedicated to upholding the highest industry standards. His strong commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of improvement makes him a trusted voice in the snow removal and landscaping.
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