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Ptelea - Growing Guide
Growing Ptelea trifoliata
Commonly known as ‘Hop Tree’
Ptelea trifoliata originates from south Canada and the USA. It is completely hardy and is interesting for its curious elm or hop-like fruits which can carpet the ground and appear even on young trees in the nursery. The bark, leaves and young fruits emit a strong aromatic scent when bruised or crushed which is intensely bitter. The tree has a picturesque habit and grows up to 25ft with a spread of half this.
Ptelea thrive in any well drained soil and have excellent yellow autumn colour. They have dark green leaves split into three palmate leaflets and are about 5in long.
Corymbs of star shaped greenish-white flowers appear in June and July followed by flattened rounded winged pale green fruit very like the ‘rabbits money’ fruits on elm trees.
P. trifoliata ‘Aurea’ has bright yellow young growth and new leaves which turn green-yellow later in the summer. This too is an attractive tree in a woodland context and flowers at a young age.
We have found that the seeds of P. trifoliata seldom germinate in our climate. Cuttings are a more reliable way of propagation taken early in the summer when soft.