At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Oleaceae
Latin Name: Chionanthus virginicus
Foliage: Medium green
Fall Foliage: Bright yellow
Bloom: White
Bloom Time: May to June
Shape: Oval and spreading
Bark: Light gray-brown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 3 to Zone 9
Size: 12 to 20 feet
Spread: 12 to 20 feet
Care: Medium, well drained soil

Favoring full sun to partial shade, the White Fringetree thrives in fertile, medium, well-drained soils and has a 3-9 hardiness zone rating. Though native to the southeastern portion of the nation, this species is resilient to colder temperatures and is a popular choice of gardeners, who often cultivate it to grow with multiple trunks. The White Fringetree can reach heights of 12-20 ft., categorizing it as a tall shrub or small tree, and it has a respective 12-20 ft. span with an oval and diffusing structure.

This species is characterized by a ridged bark, usually a light gray-brown tinged with red. Its timber is heavy, hard, and close-grained. Apart from beautiful, the White Fringetree has a history of being useful, especially for medicinal purposes: the crushed bark and dried roots of this tree were used by Native Americans as a remedy for skin inflammations, sores, and wounds.

The White Fringetree’s shoots are colored light green when they first appear, darkening over time to quieter shades of brown and orange. The tree’s spear-shaped green leaves are unusually textured: smooth on their upper sides and downy underneath. In the autumn, the foliage converts into splendid hues of gold-yellow. In May and June, fragrant white blossoms appear, arranged as airy and drooping clusters of delicate fringe-like flowers that, together, appear like a shimmering cloud of heavenly gold-green and white that is held in place by the tree branches.

Native to the southeastern United States’ lowlands and savannas, the gorgeous White Fringetree can be found all the way from New Jersey to Oklahoma, and from Florida to Texas. It is among 25 existing genera of the Oleaceae family, sharing a classification with the olive, ash, jasmine, and forsythia. Its binomial name, Chionanthus Virginicus, pays tribute to this deciduous plant’s brilliant white flowers, since Chionanthus in Greek literally means “snow-white blossom”. In the Appalachians, this plant is also hailed as “Grancy Gray Beard” and “Old Man’s Beard”.

Mature Tree Photos: