Bradford pear not!! — Fringe tree

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We finally got rain last night and dodged the tornado’s that hit the eastern part of the state.  My reporting station turned in 1.86 inches.

To continue a topic I started before the flowering season: The American fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a beautiful spring flowering native deciduous  tree seen across the southeast, but it is not well known. Ole timers call it Grandpa’s whiskers, Old Man’s beard, or Grancy Graybeard. It gets its name from the numerous fingers of white flowers seen in spring. According to Daves Garden Watchdog site, this tree is growing fine in gardens from Washington to Pennsylvania to Florida. It can be used as an understory plant or as a specimen plant. If used as a specimen plant it can slowly grow up to 30 feet height by 20-25 feet wide with a rounded growth habit.

Another variety known as the Chinese fringe tree (C. retusus) usually will get up to 20 feet tall and has whiter flowers than the native with a rounded growth habit.  I first saw this tree a couple of years ago at “Little Cypress Natives” in Florence while in bloom and just had to have one. This past spring I went back to get one for a co-worker on the death of her father and purchased another one for myself. Despite its small stature it was in full bloom after planting. I’m trying to find a spot for a third and another two winged silver bell (stay tuned for a post).

With cooler weather coming, the field mice are looking for a place to hibernate. The hooligans have been extremely busy chasing and digging and digging.  I have gift mice lying around the yard.  I found my large Star Magnolia at the corner of the house with a trench around it on three sides. Three sides, three dogs, adds up.  I covered it back up before the rain hit as well as replanting some of my daylilies and oriental lilies around the greenhouse. Did I say the kids have been digging?  The mice have moved into the greenhouse to get away from the kids and also into my brick mailbox. Each morning I pull out my paper and the side edges are in shreds. Reading some of the stories along the edge of the paper is an adventure trying to hold the pieces together.  I put bait in the back of the paper hole to give them something else to chew on.  The 2 traps I have in the garage perpendicular to the base boards have been busy catching one or two a day.  I usually throw a couple of packs of bait along the wall under the house each year at this time. I need to write a note right now to remind me to do that tomorrow.  Lately my memory has been shorter than the instep of a millipede, and I still haven’t found my glove.

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