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How to Plant a Grancy Graybeard Tree

The Grancy greybeard tree, also known as the Old-man's beard or the Fringe tree, is native throughout the southeastern US, according to the University of Arkansas. These small flowering trees only reach heights of about 20 feet. According to the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Grancy greybeard trees are hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9. They have large white tufts of flowers that give the tree its name.

Work 5 to 6 inches of compost into the soil to a depth of 3 to 4 feet to improve the soil if it is not rich enough or well drained enough.

Dig a hole as deep as the tree's root ball and twice as wide.

Place the tree in the hole and backfill the hole with soil.

Water the Grancy greybeard tree until the soil is moist and mulch around the base of the tree in a 3- to 4-feet diameter.

Identify The Grancy Graybeard Tree

Note the shape, size and bark color of a mature tree that you suspect may be a grancy graybeard. The tree has a rounded silhouette with short, multiple trunks and often looks like a large shrub. In landscapes, it grows only 12 to 20 feet tall. Bark is pale gray with white bands. Consider where a naturalized specimen is growing. Look at the other trees around it in early spring. Grancy graybeard is often the last tree to wake from dormancy, and can look dead until its leaves and flowers emerge in late spring. and dogwoods (Cornus spp.) in USDA zones 4 through 9. Flowers also have a light, sweet fragrance. The plant is deciduous and drops its leaves. Look for fruit following flowers.


Choose a spot to plant the tree that has full to partial sun with well-drained, slightly acidic, rich soil and is protected from the wind.

Plant Grancy greybeard trees in the spring after the last frost.

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