tree

American Smoketree

Cotinus obovatus

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American Smoketree (Cotinus obovatus) at Martin's Home and Garden

American Smoketree in bloom

American Smoketree in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

American Smoketree (Cotinus obovatus) at Martin's Home and Garden

American Smoketree in bloom

American Smoketree in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

American Smoketree (Cotinus obovatus) at Martin's Home and Garden

American Smoketree in fall

American Smoketree in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 feet

Spread:  20 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  American Smokebush

Description:

A beautiful native small tree or large shrub, valued for its fascinating range of fall foliage colors, with yellow, gold orange and red all on the same plant, extremely showy; rounded habit of growth, good size for the home landscape

Ornamental Features

American Smoketree features airy panicles of yellow flowers at the ends of the branches from early to late summer. It has bluish-green foliage throughout the season. The round leaves turn an outstanding orange in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The warty gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

American Smoketree is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

American Smoketree is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Hedges/Screening

Planting & Growing

American Smoketree will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Screening 
Applications
Flowers  Fall Color  Bark 
Ornamental Features