Our native Smoketree, Cotinus obovatus, is largely carefree and provides
stupendous fall colors. Will grow in a variety of soils but will take
limestone or alkaline soils very well. Full sun for best growth and color.
I have 7 of them forming a green fence on the east side of my lot. I
live on the top of a limestone hill in western North Carolina with
heavy clay soil, and they thrive here. I keep them trimmed and
thinned because they like to throw very long shoots up that can reach
6 ft in a year. I lop back the shoots to approx 3 ft in the winter
and trim any branches that are not growing where I want them. They
take this kind of care very well and have rewarded my with a lovely
They have a habit of turning into a very untidy large shrub if not
kept in bounds, but I have seen people work on them and turn them into
very nice medium-small (~25 ft) trees.
If you want the get the 'smoke', you have to keep some branches
untrimmed as they bloom on last year's branch tips.
On Thu, 31 Jul 2003 20:00:59 GMT, mommab
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