How to Plant American Smoke Tree Seeds


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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

Pour a 3-inch layer of sand over the planting area and mix it to a depth of 8 inches.

Step 4

Push the smoke tree seeds 3/8 inch into the soil, placed 12 inches apart. Cover them with soil.

Step 5

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Small bowl
  • Sand


  • University of Texas at Austin: Native Plant Database: American Smoke Tree
  • ‭"‬Landscape Management: Planting and Maintenance of Trees, Shrubs and Turfgrass"; James R. Feucht and Jack D. Butler; 1988
Keywords: smoke tree seeds, American smoke trees, propagating smoke trees

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.