Smoke Tree

Cotinus coggygria

Smoke Trees have eye catching puffs of smoke in the summer. The smoke is actually its unusual flowers. Smoke trees are actually large shrubs that can be pruned to look like small trees. Their small size allows them to be used where you need shade but have little space, for example shading a west facing window close to the house. Smoke Trees have either maroon leaves or green depending on the variety you choose. In the fall, the leaves turn bright orange before they fall.

In the first few years, the Smoke Tree will look like a big bush. As it gets taller, you remove the lower branches to “arborize” it into a small, multi-trunked tree. Prune just like a small tree so that you encourage it to grow upward not out. If you “top” or “round over” this tree will cause it to grow short and bushy.

Height: 10-15 feet
Spread: 12-20 feet
Growth Rate: moderate

Irrigation needed: very low to low
Fall Color: yellow and orange
Flowers: large plumes of smoke
Seeds/Fruit: inconspicuous

Planting Distances
Foundation: 4 feet
Drives/Patios: 3 feet
Fence: 3 feet
Small trees: 10 feet

Ok under high voltage power lines