Fringe trees require little care, and they can be a welcome addition to your garden come spring. Fringe trees may be found in the southeastern United States, where they produce long, beardlike white flowers in late spring. Fringe trees typically grow no more than 25 feet in height, making them a popular choice for small areas or areas where limited height is necessary, such as under power lines. Both the native fringe tree and the Chinese fringe tree grow slowly, but each tree thrives when given proper care. Fringe trees may grow well in urban environments, but should not be placed along roads in areas where snow is common, as they cannot tolerate salt spray.
Fringe trees prefer moist, well-drained, slightly acidic soil in full sun or partial shade, particularly if the shade is available during the hottest hours of the afternoon. If the soil or water is too alkaline, the leaves may start to develop a yellowish tint.
Fringe trees rarely need pruning when they are mature, but pruning a young fringe tree can help it take on a tree-like or bush-like shape, depending on which is preferred. The trees do not transplant well, so choosing a permanent location is vital.
Mulching fringe trees each spring with four inches of pine mulch can help keep down weeds, pests, and diseases. Fringe trees are not susceptible to many diseases or insect infestations, but if the tree does develop either of these, it should be controlled immediately. Scale insect infestations on fringe trees can be treated with horticultural oil sprays. Borer insects may also attack older trees or trees that are stressed by drought or extremes of cold or heat. Fringe trees that are planted in poorly-drained areas may also be susceptible to phytophthora root rot. Mulching the tree can help control drainage, as can assessing the land around the tree and diverting water sources away from the tree's roots as necessary.