The American smoke tree grows in rocky soils primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. It's a small shrub that can be trained to grow as a tree, reaching a height of 15 to 30 feet. The smoke tree has a squat trunk and large flowers that look like smoke rising from the branches. In the spring the foliage is pink, and the fall brings on autumn colors. The seeds are quite small and should be planted after the danger of frost has passed.
Place the American smoke tree seeds in a bowl and cover them with warm water. Allow the seeds to soak for 24 hours, changing the water after the first 12 hours. Let the seeds completely air dry.
Choose a sunny area in which to plant the seeds, as they need lots of sun to germinate. They are not particular about the texture of the soil in which they are planted as long as it is well-drained.
Pour a 3-inch layer of sand over the planting area and mix it to a depth of 8 inches.
Push the smoke tree seeds 3/8 inch into the soil, placed 12 inches apart. Cover them with soil.
Water the soil with a fine mist until the top 2 inches of soil are moist. Keep the soil moist during germination. Due to the seed's diminutive size, you will need to be careful not to wash them away while they are germinating. Germination is slow and variable; it may take up to two springs.