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The Caucasian Wingnut tree, botanically known asPterocarya Fraxinifolia, is a large, fast growing deciduous tree suitable for big spaces. It is native to Eastern Turkey and Iran but was introduced to Britain in the 1780s, taking to the climate and growing conditions well.
In spring the Caucasian Wingnut tree buds out its mid-green pinnate leaves which are exceedingly large - sometimes measuring up to 60cms in length with 19-21 pointed leaves each measuring 15cms. These leaves often cause confusion with Ash trees as they are the same shape, however Caucasian Wingnut is actually a member of the walnut family. In late spring small green flowers in hanging racemes of 50cms long attract pollinators in an unusually large display. These small flowers develop into the wingnut seeds that are loved by children as they abundantly helicopter to the ground in early autumn along with its rich yellow foliage. During winter the fissured bark and strong branching framework adds interest and texture to an empty garden. Often wingnut seeds remain on the tree, draping through its branches and swaying in the winter winds.
Height and spread of Pterocarya Fraxinifolia This is a large tree that will reach 17-22 metres in height and spread over 8 within 20-50 years depending on soil conditions. It needs room to spread and is most suitable for larger, open spaces.
How Hardy Is Pterocarya Fraxinifolia Caucasian Wingnut is hardy throughout the UK down to sub-zero temperature s. It will tolerate temporary flooding and exposed conditions too.
How To Use Pterocarya Fraxinifolia This is a large tree, so it’s important to make sure you have sufficient room. If you have enough space it’s the perfect tree to lie beneath on a hot sunny day looking up at its swaying foliage.
How To Care For Pterocarya Fraxinifolia Pterocarya Fraxinifolia likes moist, well drained soil best but it will grow in most conditions including clay, sand, loams of any pH. It will grow in sheltered and exposed areas, but as the tree becomes established you will need to stake it firmly against rocking winds. Young specimens need regular watering and mulching too. No pruning is required, but you can cut out dead or crossed branches in winter. Some suckers may appear in spring, and these can be cut back easily if you don’t want them.
Pterocarya Fraxinifolia is not often spotted in UK gardens but its unusual foliage, flowers and fruits make it highly desirable if you have room. Larger gardens in need of a focal point can’t go wrong with the quirky and low maintenance Pterocarya Fraxinifolia.