Plant of the Week: Seven Son Tree

This week’s Plant of the Week is the Seven Son Tree. This tree is a native of China. It is a very versatile tree for your landscape. Here at Grimm’s, we have both shrub form and tree form in this small tree. The tree itself grows 10 to 20 feet tall and wide. It can be planted under power lines, next to buildings, or used as a specimen in the landscape.

The Seven Son tree is a plant with multiple season interest. It has some of the best looking, peeling bark of any ornamental tree. White and copper-tan ridges of bark peel off in late winter into spring.

Another attribute is the flowers and calyxes. White flowers erupt all over the tree in September, and are followed by red calyxes. The red calyxes makes it appear to have a “second” bloom. The leaves are narrowly heart-shaped and dark green in color and fall color is yellow to gold.

Seven son tree with Monarch butterfly

The Seven Son tree has no pest or disease issues here. However, it is very attractive to pollinators in September. I often see monarchs and other butterflies on the flowers. Honeybees are a frequent visitor as well.

Seven son tree in arboretum

The growth rate of this tree is moderate to fast. The one in my own yard has grown 2 feet per year, though I have a customer in Falls City, NE with one that has grown 4 feet per year. It is hardy down to Zone 4 and can grow in part shade or full sun. It is adaptable to our heavy clay soils.

Plant Seven Son trees in any spot in the landscape that needs some ornamental interest. Out side a kitchen or office window or near a patio or gazebo are the best spots to plant this tree.

I love my Seven Son Tree! It attracts so many pollinators in September that I have a hard time going to work for wanting to watch the tree! – Andrew Mitchell, Landscape Maintenance Foreman at Grimm’s Gardens

Check out this tree at more plants of the week at

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