Granddaddy grey beard may be ‘prettiest tree in Goose Creek’

  • Thursday, April 24, 2014

Stefan Rogenmoser/Gazette Bill Roach is dwarfed by his granddaddy grey beard tree.


It has been called “the prettiest tree in Goose Creek.”

That’s a phrase Bill and Carol Roach have been told by neighbors and passers-by and have been using themselves.

They planted a granddaddy grey beard, aka a fringe tree, in 1995. It has since grown about 30 feet wide and 30 feet tall.

It blooms for about two weeks in the middle of April as white fringes grow over green leaves.

At its location on the front yard of their Hunter’s Woods neighborhood residence, the tree can be seen from a distance from three different streets.

“They don’t normally get this big,” Bill Roach said of the tree. “People thank me for having it up in the morning and at night.”

This year he put four flood lights under the tree so it stays lit from 8 p.m. until dawn.

A friend dug up the original seedling in the back of his mother’s yard 18 years ago and gave it to the Roaches. Back then it was the size of a thumb.

When the blooms fall off, the tree is green and Roach takes the lights down until the fall, when the leaves turn a golden color.

“It seems like it’s planted at a perfect place where it gets sun in the morning and afternoon,” Roach said. “Every day you’ll see more and more green.”

With this year’s ice storm Roach was afraid the tree may not bloom.

“It came in erratic this year,” Roach said. “It was only on one side for the first few days.”

Seedlings fall off and grow into baby trees under the big tree. Some of these tiny trees have been placed in pots. The Roaches are also growing a much smaller granddaddy greybeard near the back of their driveway.

“The shape of the tree is fantastic. It blots out the house.”

Roach said he has taken pictures of it from every angle. Several people who drive by also stop to take their own photos.

“It’s just so pretty,” Roach said. “It really is. People ask me where you can buy them. There used to be a nursery in Summerville but they went out of business. I have no idea where you can buy them.

“It looks like it’s glowing. It has a fragrance.”

The tree is located at 100 Fox Chase Drive.

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