F is for Fringetree

White Fringetree is a small, native tree we have featured many times on The Squirrel Nutwork because Ms. Flora believes it doesn’t get enough attention. The leaves are rather plain, the fall color is yellow. But when this tree blooms…

It’s a gorgeous fluff of white. There is some debate over if bees get a lot of use out of it. They do pollinate it, but likely the nectaries of this long-petaled, skinny flower don’t offer much.

But for small spaces, this 12 to 20 foot high tree is perfect, and native. It blooms May to June and sets fruits in August that are eaten by songbirds.

Perhaps this is a good time to compare Fringetree to Flowering Dogwood, another small, spring-blooming, native tree. Bees do not like Dogwood and they don’t use it. We are sorry, dogwood, but if you humans have only one space for a small, spring-blooming tree and want to help the bees, choose White Fringtree or Carolina Silverbell. We’ll feature it another day, obviously not ‘C’ day–looks shiftily around–and maybe not ‘S’ day, but one of those terribly awkward letters that we can’t find a tree for! Shout out to the Blogging From A to Z Challenge for challenging us!

Tomorrow is out first Sunday of the month. The A to Z skips Sundays, so look for ‘G’ on Monday!


Purchase plants and seeds from a known source that does not use pesticides / insecticides, particularly neonicotinoids. They are not safe for honeybees and native bees. Watch this bee researcher’s Ted Talk to learn more about bees, why they are dying and how you can help:

Marla Spivak: Why Bees Are Disappearing