One of the finest of these spring bloomers is the fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus), a small tree considered by many to be one of our most beautiful native plants. But, beautiful as it is, it remains uncommon in gardens. Fringe tree, also called Grancy Gray-beard and Old-man's beard, is native throughout the southeastern states but is nowhere abundant. In Arkansas, it occurs in all but the Delta region but is most commonly met in the Ouachitas and southern counties. It blooms as the dogwoods finish and after the trees have leafed out, so it's easy to miss in its wild habitat.
It grows as a multi-stemmed tree or large shrub, usually reaching 15 to 20 feet in height and spread in cultivation. It can reach 30 feet in the wild with a main trunk sometimes 10 inches through, though such specimens are rare.
^^^^^^^^^^^^ Fringe tree is considered one our finest native trees in England. It was first sent there by John Bartram (1699 - 1777), the intrepid naturalist from Philadelphia responsible for introducing so many New World plants to England. Bartram farmed on the banks of the Schuylkill River and was a close friend of Benjamin Franklin. The home he built is now a city park and many of his plants still grow in the garden.
But then we plant lost of trees here, because we are concerned about the environment