2013

 
 

Chinese wingnut, or Pterocarya stenoptera, is a member of the walnut family -Juglandaceae and grows 50 to 80 foot tall with an impressive rounded form. And though it lacks colorful bloom and blazing autumn color, it is, nonetheless, one of the most handsome shade trees available. This deciduous tree has rough bark and massive branches that make it as wide as it is tall rendering it a superb shade tree. The coarse foliage is typical of Hickories and Walnuts. It is 6 to 12 inches long and composed of 11 to 25 finely-toothed leaflets which form an excellent background for the beautiful 12 inch long seed clusters which start out a pale lime green. The contrast of these dangling pale clusters against the darker foliage is lovely. They eventually a soft yellow in autumn and drop in winter. Another asset of Chinese wingnut is its fantastic growth rate. It can reach 20 feet in less than 5 years and is an ideal choice for an impressive tree and certainly one that is not commonly found. Its size, of course, restricts it to larger gardens and country properties but it is also planted as a boulevard tree in both China and California.

Chinese wingnut needs full sun for its dramatic growth and moist soil, and would do well along a pond or stream. It is also tolerant of drought, compacted soil and heavy clay. It withstands temperatures down to -10 Fahrenehit and is well adapted to the southern half of the US and the moderate coastal areas. It does well in the UK and New Zealand and is very well accommodated to Australia. There are no pests or disease problems. As usual, this special tree will not be found in the popular landscape nurseries but more likely in a specialty, mail-order, plant nursery.

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Chinese wingnut

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