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Botanical name: Hamamelis mollis
Common names: Chinese witch hazel
USDA zones: 5-8
Water requirement: Average
Sun requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 10-20’ tall x 10-15’ spread
Tolerances: Deer, clay soil, moderate drought
Distinguishing traits. A multi-stemmed ornamental that only improves with age, Chinese witch hazel is most recognized by its explosion of winter blooms. Beginning in February and persisting for several weeks, fragrant golden poufs blanket its bare branches. These spider-like flowers grow most readily in full sun and serve as luminous contrasts to stark winter landscapes and smooth gray bark.
How to use it. Elegant arching form and winter blooms make this tree an obvious choice for a landscape specimen tree. Its relatively small footprint makes Chinese witch hazel a suitable tree for petite or urban gardens. Collect a flowering branch or two for a foraged floral arrangement.
Keep it growing. Pest-free and easy to grow, these trees are beautiful landscape investments, well worth the time they take to mature. While they prefer moist, well-drained, acidic soil of woodland gardens, they are moderately drought tolerant. Keep Chinese witch hazel protected from harsh winter winds until the risk of winter frost damage has passed.
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