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White Fringe Is Gold Medal Tree

By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Since a lot of us will be looking to replace trees and shrubs that got broken this winter, here's a lovely little tree you can plant almost anywhere – in a front yard, courtyard, near a deck or patio and even under powerlines since it stays small.

Our native White Fringe tree is one of my favorites – I've planted three - and it's just been awarded a 2014 Gold Medal by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. That distinction means it's not only beautiful, it's also proven to be easy to grow around here and can handle our weather.

The Latin name is Chionanthus virginicus, but it's known as Fringe tree or Grancy Graybeard for its feathery white flowers that gracefully adorn the branches in early summer. While it won't flower in your yard until about June, you can see some in bloom at the Flower Show this week, and in the photo here.

Getting the Gold Medal distinction should make it a lot easier to find Fringe trees in nurseries than it used to be, so you can look to replace some of those broken cherry and pear trees that got damaged this winter with our easy care native Fringe tree.

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