That planting trees is a good idea is not disputed by many. But which trees and when?
We are happy to start a tree series by arborist Caroline de Villiers from Themba Trees to help us all along:
Trees are not known for their speed and they sometimes seem out of place in this modern, bustling world of instant gratification. They like to take their time, gradually easing into place before rewarding you with your desired result and, to be honest, that is part of the beauty of them! For the impatient gardeners, the Keurboom can deliver the results you require within a couple of years.
The Keurboom or Blossom Tree (Virgilia oroboides) has some fantastic qualities to boast of. It produces beautiful pink flowers in spring and early summer and grows 1 – 1.5m per year. In the USA they affectionately refer to it as a ‘Tree-in-a-Hurry’.
Nitrogen fixing encourages nearby plants to grow
Indigenous to South Africa and endemic to the Western Cape, Southern Cape and Eastern Cape, the Keurboom is suitable for any sized garden. It belongs to the Fabaceae (pea and bean) family and therefore has nitrogen-fixing qualities, enriching the soil around it, encouraging nearby plants to grow more readily.
Autumn is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs as it affords them plenty of time to get their roots well established before the hot summer months return. So, linger no longer! Get cracking and plant a Keurboom now and you’ll have a gorgeous shade tree within two to three years.
TOP TIP: If you wish to grow this tree from scratch you can speed up the germination process by pouring boiling water over the seeds and soaking them overnight before planting.
Feel free to contact Caroline with your suggestions of other tree-themed topics you would like covered in this feature.
Themba Trees is a family owned business on an apple farm in the beautiful Elgin valley – read more about this dynamic woman and her business partner Michael Hermanus on their website www.thembatrees.co.za
By Caroline de Villiers