Your neighbors will stop and stare in front of your yard while wondering, “What kind of tree is that?!” Covered in lovely flowers during May and June, the Snowbell Tree (Styrax japonicus) is truly a traffic-stopping gem. “Snowbell” is an apt description of the appearance of its flowers — bell-shaped blossoms of the purest white. Best of all, the Snowbell Tree is a small tree, which makes it a stunning focal point for smaller yards.
The Snowbell Tree’s versatility in the landscape includes these design uses:
- Resplendent in either a full sun or partial shade location, the Snowbell Tree is equally at home in a sunny cottage garden or in a filtered-sun location along a woodland garden path.
- Adjacent to your patio, the Snowbell Tree becomes a conversation piece while sitting with friends and family and enjoying its fragrant, showy flowers. In winter, after the leaves drop, older branches give a peek into natural cracks that reveal the orange inner bark underneath.
- Dazzling in multiples, a grouping or row of Snowbell Trees will enliven your late-spring to early-summer landscape.
Planting, Establishing & Ongoing Care Tips
- Plant your Snowbell Tree no deeper than just above the upper roots. If you bury it too deeply, it may struggle to survive.
- Loosen the soil to just beyond its root spread and to just below the bottom of the root system.
- Gently spread out its roots as you place it in the planting hole, and fill in the soil around them.
- Water thoroughly, so the soil can settle around the roots.
- Gently step around the tree to firm the soil in place.
Establishing a Healthy Tree:
- Don’t apply fertilizer when you plant your Snowbell Tree.
- Be sure to keep the roots moist until they “take hold” and begin growing.
- Don’t let the roots dry out completely; the Snowbell Tree likes consistently moist (but not soggy) soil.
- Fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer before the new growth breaks in spring.
- Pruning is not required for the Snowbell Tree. But if you want to shape it, prune it in late winter or early spring.