The Q&A Archives: Chinese Fringe Tree

Question: Can this tree be shaped like a dogwood and what season would you trim the tree?

Answer: The fringe tree is a dense growing small tree in sunnier locations and a bit airier and more spreading in shade, but it is not a horizontal branching plant in the manner of a dogwood. Sometimes it grows in more of a tree form and in other cases it grows more like a shrub, there is a lot of natural variation to its growth habit and that is part of its charm. It could not, in my opinion, be pruned successfully to resemble the branching pattern of a dogwood. Generally speaking this tree rarely requires pruning at all. However, since it does bloom on the previous year's growth, you could prune in early summer immediately after the bloom period. This would allow the tree to bloom normally the following spring.

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