Magazine article Sunset

Chitalpa? New Flowering Tree from the U.S.S.R

Magazine article Sunset

Chitalpa? New Flowering Tree from the U.S.S.R

Article excerpt

A new deciduous tree from the Soviet Union, the chitalpa, holds promise for all but the West's coldest climates. This cross between two North American native trees offers many advantages.

It doesn't need much water The chitalpa

isn't damaged by summer water but can stand up to extended drought, as well as to dry winds.

Plenty of flowers over a long time. They start in May or June and appear continuously through fall, a much longer flowering period than that of either parent.

They're very effective up close, though their small size and pale color limit their impact from a distance.

Grows fast but doesn't get too big. Started from a cutting six years ago, the tree in the picture at left above is now about 15 feet tall and equally wide. Its dimensions are expected to double by maturity.

Pests? Few. In five years of minimum maintenance, aphids have occasionally been observed on the tree at Rancho Santa Ana, but no insect, mite, or disease damage has been detected.

Add to all that, the chitalpa is widely adapted. At 0 degrees, leaves and stems suffer damage, but the plant will come back quickly from surviving roots. …

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