The Leopard Tree
10 FEBRUARY 2015
The Leopard Tree, or Caesalpinia Ferrea originates from Brazil, despite how deceptively South African its common name may sound.
This tree earns its name from the large dark brown patches on the light bark, reminding one of the African Leopards spots. This occurs due to the smooth bark exfoliating unevenly.
This tree is ideal for smaller gardens (not to close to the house because of its big roots), but ONLY in moderate climates, as its growth is stunted by nature. Beware of planting in humid subtropic areas, such as Durban, as the Leopard Tree can grow monstrously in these conditions, with roots to match.
These trees look wonderful if planted together and its delicate branches wont provide deep shade. This is ideal for plants which battle to grow amongst tree roots.
The majestic giant of our natural forest
5 AUGUST 2014
The indigenous Outiniqua yellowwood tree is well known and well loved amongst South Africans. This majestic beauty can easily be recognized by its impressive size, its blue-grey pointed leaves and smooth bark. In nature it can grow to the height of nearly 45 meters. No need to worry though, should you prefer not to have a Jack and the Beanstalk scenario in your backyard! This tree will grow to a modest size in garden cultivation. Its natural distribution is to be found in the Southern Cape, along the East coast, and all the way up to Mozambique. It is the favourite choice of wood for furniture. However it can also be seen as a favourite choice for hanging a swing or having a picnic in its shade, should you not wish to run a backyard timber shop.
TreeCos Star: Jasmine
9 MARCH 2016
This weeks TreeCo special is the fragrant and striking Star Jasmine which produces dainty white flowers (in full sun, no less) and, rather freakily, actually belongs to the Olive family. While often seen as a creeper, it works wonderfully as a ground cover too, making it a nifty addition to vast gardens. The a.k.a Confederate Jasmine is an excellent choice this season not only on account of its tolerance to different soil types, but also because of its infamous resilience to draught - simply a summer must-have as water restrictions persist in our area. Drop Rudi a line on 082 829 5543 to place your order.
Two practical quirks of the Water Oak (Quercus nigra)
7 MAY 2015
This month, weve got our 200L Quercus nigra on special. In the tree world, a young tree with a 200L root size will be between 2.5 and 4m in hight. The young Quercus nigra that we have in stock are perfectly sized saplings that, bought today, will grow another 12.5 to 14m in height, and their equivalent in root span. (Use our root size to tree height infographic on our trees page to check tree sizes).
So lets take look at what makes the Quercus nigra so distinctive. Firstly, they grow faster and they reproduce faster. But dont let the old Afrikaans adage, Vroeg ryp, vroeg vrot, sway you, rapid reproducers result in a lot of variation amongst which specimens to select. Because of this, the specimens become more easily adapted to altered conditions. Yes, making the Quercus nigra a robust tree that grows well in even the trickiest of terrains.
Growth spurts aside, the second quirk of this Quercus (alliteration intended) is that it is an excellent tree for children to climb. With its symmetrical, spreading crown that spreads densely from the trunk, these elaborate branch patterns make for intricate climbing sessions - provided the child can make it from the trunk into the branches.
Climbing trees enhances divergent thinking because it requires cognitive work to choose the best pathways between branches. As children map their ideas and then try to execute each manoeuvre, they are problem solving and developing spatial reasoning. Where is the zone of proximal development, you may ask: its in a TreeCo tree.
Why we love Rhus
10 MARCH 2015
In 2008, most of the species grown in Southern Africa under the genus Rhus were reclassified into genus Searsia, but the more common name for this tree is the White Karee.
Although this small-medium sized tree is ideal for small gardens, you should still be aware that it can grow into an 8m tree as it grows quickly. It has a non-invasive root system and is tidy and neat to maintain. This very adaptable tree can be used on the boundaries of larger properties, planted in rows to form a highly effective windbreak.
The minimum planting area, away from walls or a house, is about 2m. It can also be used near water and looks beautiful with its Willow-like appearance.
The Searsia pendulina has a fast growth rate and is frost-hardy, making it ideal for small gardens, in particular. This evergreen tree also attracts bees and other insects and is used for breeding by many different kinds of butterflies.