I’ve been eagerly anticipating the moment when the smoke tree Grace drops her leaves, at which time we have a pruning date scheduled to rein in her exuberance. Planted as 4-inch rooted cutting in the
northeast southeast corner, she’s now a tri-yard, multi-trunked tree, and both neighbors on either side have taken saws to her in the last year. So, of course, just to vividly impress me with her irreplaceable charms, the little minx flaunts some amazing colors this year, the best I’ve seen from her.
This smoke tree is the result of a cross between C. coggyria with our native C. obovatus. C. coggyria is as underperforming for me in zone 10 as Grace is overperforming. I’ve probably written before that fall color in Southern California is a rare commodity, and apart from some blazing, lemony-yellow Ginkgo bilobas a couple streets over, Grace is the only tree on my street putting on such a brassy show.