Hovenia dulcis - Japanese Raisin Tree
Family - Rhamnaceae
Size - 30 to 35 feet in height with a spread about 2/3rds the height. Grows at a medium rate, about 2 feet per year. Upright-oval to rounded shape with many smaller lateral branches.
Foliage - Glossy green in summer. Fall color is a mixture of yellow.
Flower/Fruit/Seed - Flower is a 2 -3" diameter cyme consisting of many 1/3rd" diameter greenish white flowers occuring in mid June to early July. Slightly fragrant. Fruit is a reddish-brown drupe, about 1/3" in diameter about the size of a raisin, hence the name. They are sweet, and can be eaten.
Bark - Smooth, gray on young trees. On older trees it is a light gray, slightly furrowed, peeling in strips which reveals darker brown tones underneath.
Pests and Diseases - None serious
Landscape Use - Could be used in planters. A lot of information is not known on the uses of this tree. Seems to tolerate a wide variety of soils, pH, and exposures. Could make a nice tree for the residential landscape.
Performance - 8 Hardiness can be a problem above the southern region of zone 5. It should work well down in to zone 8. A Japanese Raisin Tree of about 18" diameter in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Ky., was killed to the ground in the winter of 1993 when the temperature reached -22 F. Tolerates wind, but not wet conditions. Will grow in sun to light shade.