Growing Davidia (Dove Tree)

Latin Name Pronunciation: dah-vid'-ee-ah

The Dove Tree, native to woodland China, is indeed a handsome flowering tree, as people who have seen its large, fluttering, creamy white flower bracts attest. Round fruits of golf-ball size follow this memorable spring display, and the orange-brown flaking bark offers winter interest. Broadly pyramidal and medium-sized, it takes about 10 years to flower.

Light: Full sun or partial shade, protected from afternoon sun.

Soil: Moist, well-drained soil.

Watering: The key to getting your new shrub or tree off to a good start is moisture. Water thoroughly after planting, and keep a close eye on the plant over the following week. Then, give it a good soaking once a week during summer, unless rainfall is plentiful (more than 1in per week). Established plants can generally get by on less water, but most grow best if the soil remains evenly moist. Please note that more is not better. When in doubt, don't water.

Fertilizer: We recommend against fertilizing at planting time and during the first growing season in your garden. Plants need time to settle in before being pushed to grow. Most established plants grow best if fertilized with a light hand. Here at the Farm, we fertilize our specimen trees and shrubs just once -- in early spring -- with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 5-10-10, 10-10-10, or an organic fertilizer). If a concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer is used, please follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.

Continuing Care:Water during dry periods. Prune to maintain a strong leader while young. Pests or diseases are infrequent.