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Steve Nix

More on Old Man's Beard (Fringetree)

By April 23, 2014

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Fringetree or Old Man's Beard is a beautiful, small tree when it is in full Spring bloom. It can grow nearly anywhere in the continental United States and is native to the lower eastern U.S. and coastal states to New York. It's white flower color kicks in just as the dogwood blooms are fading.

Although fringetree does well in shade, it never attains its full potential for height and diameter growth without full sunlight. An open-grown fringetree at George Washington's Mount Vernon in Virginia has attained a near record at 32 feet tall with a trunk of 17 inches in diameter.

Wild Fringetree in Alabama - Photo by Steve Nix, Licensed to About.com


April 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm
(1) Mary Picard says:

We recently cleared the remaining part of an acre (thanks to Hurricane Rita 2005) and just discovered a Grandaddy Greybeard in the back of the property. We were so surprised to see it in full bloom and had never seen it in the 11 years we have been there!

May 11, 2008 at 1:35 pm
(2) Helen Payne says:

hey i in west virginia and was whatin to know where can i can the grand daddy grey beard at in my state i love this tree and i think that this tree is a very beautyful smilly tree i would really like to have this tree and injoy it

May 12, 2008 at 12:50 pm
(3) Douglas Burket says:

I have cataloged 89 Fringetrees (ranging in height from 4′ – 15′) on my 4.5 acre property in the NC Piedmont. Last Weekend several were in full bloom and fragrance was intoxicating. I had not thought of putting one in full sunlight since all of my natives have grown in shade, but it is an intriguing idea. I may try and transplant 1 or 2 of my smallest specimens to full sunlight.

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