All About the Fringetree:

Scientific Nomenclature: Chionanthus virginicus

Common Names: fringetree, white fringetree, old man's beard

Mature Height: 15–30 feet

Mature Spread: 15–30 feet

Growth Rate: Slow 

Attracts Wildlife: Birds and small mammals

Messiness: Clusters of fruit mature and drop during summer and early autumn. Flowers bloom and drop in the spring. Leaves drop in autumn.

Shape: Round

Native to Kentucky: Yes

Preferred Soils: Tolerates occasionally moist clay but prefers well-drained, alkaline (>8.0pH) or neutral (6.0–8.0pH) loam/sandy soils with high organic matter content.

Screening: Not useful as a screening/privacy plant.

Drought Tolerance: Is tolerant of some drought.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous shrub or small tree

Pruning: Very rarely needs to be pruned as it grows very slowly.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one fringe tree will:

  • Sequester ~579 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 227 gallons.