Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Common Hoptree, Wafer-ash

Common Hoptree, Wafer-ash

Ptelea trifoliata

Full sun to heavy shade; medium to dry moisture level; adaptable to a range of soils including moderately coarse sandy and gravelly loams, medium loams to moderately fine sandy loams, clay loam and clay; neutral pH.

15-20 feet height by 15-20 feet spread; inconspicuous yellow-green flowers in spring; dry, winged, one-seeded, tan-brown fruit, 3/5 inch wide, in dense clusters from late summer into fall.

Growth Rate: Medium to slow

Maintenance: Low. Various leaf spot and rust diseases but none serious.

Propagation: Seed germination code C(90) at 41 degrees F.

Native Region: Middle and East Tennessee

Dense, rounded, small understory tree or shrub that occurs naturally in rocky woods, glades, ravines, thickets and prairies. Flowers not particularly showy but fruits are ornamental. Very adaptable and easy-to-grow tree which is good for both moist and dry conditions. Cultivars available.

Intermediate wildlife value. Flower nectar attracts many species of butterflies. Larval host for Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

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tree;sun/shade;dry;rocky
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tree;shade;medium;sand
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tree;shade;dry;sand
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One response to “Common Hoptree, Wafer-ash

  1. joystewart September 1, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    I love this little tree. I planted one when I lived in Wisconsin and it was definitely of medium growth rate but very attractive. Now I am in NE Tennessee, and late this spring, I ordered a little one gallon pot of this tree from Pine Ridge Gardens in Arkansas, and it is growing like a little weed even though it is in clay soil. It was probably 12″ tall when I got it and is now over 4 feet, even after having its top snapped off by some neighbor’s dog. I have read you are sometimes better off starting with a small plant because it adapts more quickly than a large one….must be true! I love the bright green, shapely leaves and am looking forward to seeing it develop into an attractive, shapely tree.

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