Chinese Fringe Tree, No Fringe!

ntrainerApril 21, 2012

In the wake of a renovation to our house, we planted a chinese fringe tree (chionanthus retusus) at the corner of our house. It gets decent sun, but is under the canopy of a more mature river birch. When planted, the tree was mature and fruit-laden (in the fall). That spring, we loved the wonderful "show" of the white "fringe." Since that first spring, however, we've seen no sign of fruit or fringe. What's going on? It's been 3 years. Help!

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Don't know but how about planting the native one instead? Chionanthus virginicus.

Oh by the way, plants are male and female so you do need both. But that doesn't explain your lack of flowers. When you say "decent sun" is that at least 5 hours worth?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 4:21PM
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The native one doesn't do the trick for me, sorry! Just doesn't look really "full," and especially in winter it's nowhere near as beautiful. Also, our chinese fringe tree has been in the ground for 4 years and I'm not interested in investing another $300 for a new specimen. This one's healthy, just no flowers.

As for the sun, I guess I mean that this is the eastern corner of the house, facing southeast. So, yes, it should receive the critical 5 hours' worth of sun. The tree is next to the house, and in ffront of the tree is our lawn, which is pretty lush (if I do say so, myself). To me, this additional evidence that sun conditions should be good.

I only have the one tree, though, so are you telling me I need another for fertilization (and, thus, for flowering)?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 5:32PM
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Not for flowering, but for fruit set, yes.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 9:37PM
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Hmmmm... So I still don't understand why we're not getting flowers on the tree. Suggestions?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 6:54AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

is it in full sun??

is it near a lawn that is fed high nitrogen fertilizer .. too many times per year ...

it is not uncommon..for a potted plant [or ball and burlap] .. to be sexually mature and perform the first season after planting..

but thereafter.. the transplant sets it back.. and it takes a few years.. to grow or regrow the root mass.. sufficient to consider itself back to be sexually mature enough.. to begin the flowering again ...

you are not really going to get an real deep answer.. based on the dearth of facts you have provided ... and i suspect... even if you could give us all the facts.. all we can do is guess ...

a picture might be a great way to start .. check out the link


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:39AM
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The easy answers are not enough sun, toomuch nitrogen, not enough nitrogen and pruning. there is an odd chance of unseen damage tbrough mechanisms that are just there, but over time these should balance out.

we tend to think of sun as a negotiatable matter. we negotiate. the plant tells us...if we know how to listen.

and last but not least there is proof that plants are sentient. thwy know much it means to you that this one flower...and the important it is to you the less likely they will. kinda like teenagers...which begets the question...if you were a chinese fringetree what tattoo would you get?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:26PM
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Ha! Strobiculate, you crack me up... I guess I need to care about this less so that my teenage tree will allow me the pleasure of its flower.

FWIW, I've tried to include a photo, but this web site doesn't accept my URL (in Picasa). Sigh. Despite this, having taken the photo I can definitely say the fringe tree is NOT under the canopy of the river birch. Sounds like either this tree isn't getting enough sun, or it could be a couple more years before I see blooms... It's already been 3 years. How long must I wait?!? Oh, NATURE. :(

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 6:41PM
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