The Q&A Archives: Smoke Tree

Question: i am going to plant a purple smoke tree in my garden the question is how much will the tree grow each year the tree grows to 20-25foot and it is 18-24 inches now how many years will it take to mature and how much will it grow each year and please tell me about anything else about the tree u can.

Answer: Cotinus coggygria, the Smoketree or Smokebush, often grows as a multistemmed bush and forms a rounded yet open crown. According to Michael Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, the ultimate size should be in the 10 to 15 foot range in height and width and it is considered a "medium" grower in terms of speed. Most plants grow more quickly in youth, so it would not be unusual to expect about two feet of growth a year from a young plant if it is well cared for. This plant is native to Southern Europe and to China and Himilaya. The size your plant reaches will depend on your localized growing conditions and on the specific variety you have planted. It will also depend on your pruning -- some gardeners will cut these to the ground each year in order to encourage larger and brighter foliage. In any case this plant is highly adaptable to soil types and exposures but will do very well in full sun on average soil.

The American Smoketree (Cotinus obovata) is somewhat similar but grows larger, into the 20 to 30 foot range, and is native to certain areas of the eastyern US and Texas. This tree is known for its spectacular fall color and is somewhat unusual in commerce.

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