Food For Fringe Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Reedsville, PA
Question by rdalderton
June 7, 2001
I've had a Fringe Tree for 10 years. Its the same size as it was when I planted it. Is their something I can feed it to make it grow?


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Answer from NGA
June 7, 2001

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Fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus)is a slow grower, but it should grow at least a few inches to half a foot a year. It prefers a good rich acidic soil that is evenly moist (it grows wild along the edges of damp areas) and needs a spot in full to partial sun. If the plant is in a very unsuitable spot you might try transplanting it in very early spring or in September. Make sure to keep it well watered during the establishment period just as you would for a new plant.

If your plant truly has not grown at all I would suspect a rooting problem, perhaps the roots have never extended beyond the original planting hole and the plant is being dwarfed as a result. If this is the case, you will need to dig it up, loosen the roots, and replant. After ten years, however, this may be a bit difficult and might kill the plant -- but the encircling roots will also eventually kill the plant so it could be worth the try.

When planting or replanting, dig a generously wide hole and loosen the soil well. Replant at the same depth as the plant originally grew, water well, and top with several inches of organic mulch. Do not place the mulch right up against the stem or trunk, however.

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