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Chinese Fringe Tree

Chionanthus retusus

Description: 
Known for its beautiful fringed white spring blooms, the tree's handsome bark also provides winter interest. The leathery green leaves turn yellow in the fall. Quite uncommon in Seattle, it will make a lovely street tree under power lines or yard tree in a small space.

Power Line Approved: Yes

Min. street tree planting width: 5 feet

Mature Height: 25-30 feet

Mature Spread: 20-25 feet

Tree Shape: Rounded

Where to Plant: 
A perfect tree for smaller planting strips under power lines. Can also be used for small yard spaces.   

Leaves:
Leathery dark green leaves turn yellow in fall.

Flowers:
White with fringe-like petals in spring. Mildly fragrant.

Fruit:
Females produce olive-like blue-black fruits in late summer.

Preferred Site Conditions:
Very easy to grow. Prefers well-drained soil in full sun to part shade, flowering best in full sun. 

Potential Problems:
No serious insect or disease problems.

Minimum Planting Distances:

  • 15 feet from house or building
  • 3 ½ feet back from the face of the curb
  • 5 feet from underground utility lines
  • 10 feet from power poles
  • 7 ½ feet from driveways (10 feet recommended)
  • 20 feet from street lights and other existing trees
  • 30 feet from street intersections

Additional Resources