Friday, January 29, 2010

Spectacular Monthly Tree - February 2010

The beautiful Rauvolfia caffra with it’s glossy, dark green leaves, wide crown and slightly drooping branches is an ideal specimen tree and looks best when planted on a large lawn or wherever the lovely shape can be appreciated. The inconspicuous small white flowers are borne in sprays and are sweetly scented while the round, fleshy fruit is green with white spots becoming black and wrinkled when mature. The pale brown, soft wood is used in general carpentry as well as for kitchen utensils and carved drums. The latex and especially the bark and roots of the Quinine tree are well known for their use in traditional medicine. This attractive, fast growing tree should definitely be planted more extensively in South Africa.

Our stock specimens of 200kg Rauvolfia caffra are looking absolutely incredible and are a really good deal for their bag size. They are tall and sturdy with exceptionally strong trunks so they will more than likely not need staking once planted.

Botanical Name: Rauvolfia caffra
Common Name: Quinine tree
Size Available: 200kg
Quantity in Stock: 20
Average Tree Height: 3 - 3.5m
Average Trunk Thickness: 8 – 9cm

Should you require any further information, such as pricing details or should you wish to place an order, please contact Rudi on 082 829 5543 or Leske on 072 385 0270. Alternatively you are welcome to email us with your enquiry at

Kigelia africana

Every visitor to the Kruger park has seen the spectacular Kigelia africana. Although it is native to the warmer regions of the country, it can be seen growing beautifully in many other areas throughout South Africa. The Sausage tree tolerates a wide variety of conditions but is not frost hardy. This beautiful shade tree is evergreen but in areas where there are long dry periods, some loss of leaves may occur. The large, deep red flowers appear in early spring and literally overflow with nectar, attracting a variety of birds, insects and the nectar eating fruit bats, that pollinate the tree. The long, sausage shaped fruits may take up to 6 months to mature, giving the tree it’s distinctive appearance. In the wild, Kigelia africana attracts a variety of game that feed on the flowers and the fruit.


Botanical Name: Kigelia africana
Common Name: Sausage Tree
Genus: Bignoniaceae
RSA National Tree No’: 678


If you are looking for a tree that lends an exotic touch to your landscaping project and makes a real statement, Kigelia africana does just that and more. This magnificent tree with it’s beautiful flowers and cylindrical fruits is a real talking point while having the added bonus of being an ideal shade tree. The Sausage tree looks stunning as an isolated specimen tree in a large garden and is ideal for use on large estates and municipal parks. The large amounts of nectar produced by the flowers attract a variety of sunbirds as well as orioles, bulbuls and even masked weavers. The tree is an excellent container species making it an interesting alternative for smaller gardens, patios and paved areas. Kigelia africana is popular with bonsai enthusiasts. As the root system is invasive, the Sausage tree should be planted away from buildings, paving and swimming pools.


Height: 8 – 10m
Spread: 6 – 10m
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Habit: Kigelia africana occurs on riverbanks and streams as well as floodplains in warmer parts of the country.
Bark: The bark of the Sausage tree is grey and smooth. Peeling occurs on older trees.
Foliage: The Kigelia africana has dark green compound leaves consisting of 3 – 5 pairs of leaflets and one terminal leaflet. The entire leaf is about 300mm long.
Flowers: The large, showy flowers are borne in open auxiliary sprays in early summer. Each cup shaped flower is deep red on the inside and reddish brown on the outside with green veins. They produce copious amounts of nectar and have a rather unusual smell.
Fruit: The distinctive, sausage shaped fruit is hard and greyish-brown, growing up to 500mm long and 100mm in diameter and contain a fibrous pulp on the inside with numerous seeds. The fruit appears from December to June.
Seed: The hard seed is roundish and brown .


Growing regions: The Kigelia africana occurs throughout Africa from Chad to South Africa and even in the West to Namibia.
Growing conditions: The Sausage tree should be planted in full sun, in a large hole with good soil, plenty of compost and well rotted manure and should be kept well watered at first.
Best season: Spring - Summer
Hardiness: This lovely tree prefers warm, frost free conditions and tolerates temperatures from 4 – 40 degrees.
Propagation: The Kigelia africana is easy to propagate from fresh seed sown in river sand in September but can be grown from truncheons as well.
Growth rate: Fairly fast, up to 1m in favourable conditions.


The Kigelia africana is best known for the large variety of anti-bacterial and skincare products that are produced from the fruit extracts, which are used to alleviate such skin conditions as psoriasis, eczema, solar keratosis, burns and fever blisters. In African herbal medicine, the specially prepared fruit is use to cure a wide range of ailments from rheumatism to syphilis. In Botswana the wood is used to make dugout canoes, oars and yokes while in Malawi, shelves and fruit boxes are made from the wood. The fruit is used extensively to brew an alcoholic drink.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Welcome to the New Year with our Bumper Discount Offer!

Rudi and Leske would like to wish each and every one of our valued clients a wonderful and prosperous 2010. We trust that you all feel refreshed after a well deserved break and look forward to assisting you with all your landscaping projects this year.

To some the New Year is merely a change of date on the calendar, whereas for others, it represents a wealth of new opportunities.

Albert Einstein puts it most eloquently:

“I feel that you are justified in looking into the future with true assurance, because you have a mode of living in which we find the joy of life and the joy of work harmoniously combined. Added to this is the spirit of ambition which pervades your very being, and seems to make the day’s work like a happy child at play.”


To celebrate the start of 2010, Rudi and Leske are offering all clients who visit us at the nursery an incredible 10% discount on all purchases made during the months of January and February, regardless of when and how much you order.

Take advantage of this offer as soon as possible! Simply give Rudi (082 829 5543) or Leske (072 385 0270) a call to let us know when you would like to drop in for your coffee and visit to the nursery – we look forward to seeing you!

Spectacular Monthly Tree - January 2010

Although we have many tree species at our nursery that are looking spectacular at any given time, we feature just one tree in particular every month that we know will offer you the best value for money and that will add that special touch to your landscape project.

The Olea europaea subs. africana or Wild Olive is truly a tree for all seasons. This decorative garden subject is frost tolerant and drought resistant, as well as being an excellent choice as a hardy, dense windbreak. This small to medium sized evergreen, with its neat, compact crown, is an ideal choice as a shade tree for the home garden or in any urban setting. Read more about this versatile tree in this month’s TreeCo tree review.

At TreeCo we have a large stock-holding of the Olea europaea subs. africana available and they are looking spectacular for their bag size. Please place your orders early to avoid disappointment.

Botanical Name: Olea europaea subs. africana

Common Name: Wild Olive
Size Available: 50kg
Quantity in Stock: 300
Average Tree Height: 1.8 – 2.2m
Average Trunk Thickness: 2.5 – 3cm

Should you require any further information, such as pricing details or should you wish to place an order, please contact Rudi on 082 829 5543 or Leske on 072 385 0270. Alternatively you are welcome to email us with your enquiry at

Olea europaea subsp. africana – Wild olive

The Olea africana is a small, neat evergreen tree with a dense spreading crown of shiny grey-green to dark green foliage that is silvery underneath. This has to be one of our most versatile trees as it tolerates a wide variety of growing conditions as can be seen by the extensive distribution throughout the country. At this time of the year, when water is at a premium, and strong winds and searing heat create extremely difficult growing conditions for many plants, the Wild Olive comes into it’s own, as it is able to withstand the harshest conditions. As an added bonus, the sprays of whitish flowers are lightly scented and the fruits attract an interesting assortment of fruit eating birds to the garden.


Botanical Name: Olea europaea subs. africana
Common Name: Wild Olive
Genus: Oleaceae
RSA National Tree No’: 617


This attractive, compact, slow - growing tree is an excellent screen plant and a good shade tree, even in a small garden. As it requires minimum maintenance, it makes an ideal subject for street planting, parks, schools, housing and office complexes and even golf courses. Olea africana has been used as an effective stabiliser to prevent erosion of sand dunes and has been planted in very dry areas to provide fodder for stock and game. Avoid planting the Wild Olive too close to swimming pools and walls as the roots may occasionally be aggressive.


Height: 8-9m
Spread: 6-12m
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Habit: Olea africana occurs in a wide range of habitats from rocky hillsides to stream banks.
Bark: The bark is rough grey to brown, occasionally peeling off in strips.
Foliage: The leaves of the Wild Olive are narrowly oblong to elliptic, glossy grey-green to dark green above and silvery below due to a dense covering of silver to brown scales.
Flowers: The white to cream lightly scented flowers appear in loose terminal heads from October to February.
Fruit: The 10x8mm purplish black ovoid fruits appear from March to July.
Seed: Each fruit contains a single brownish oblong seed which germinates readily.


Growing regions: The Olea africana is widespread throughout the country.
Growing conditions: The slow growing Wild Olive tolerates even the most difficult growing conditions but benefits from being planted in a large hole with plenty of compost, good mulch and moderate quantities of water.
Best season: Spring - Summer
Hardiness: This exceptionally hardy tree is drought, wind and frost resistant and withstands temperatures from 5 to 40C.
Propagation: The Wild Olive propagates easily from seed but hard wood cuttings can be taken and rooted in moist river sand using a rooting hormone.
Growth rate: Slow, about 250mm – 400mm per year.


The Olea africana has many well known medicinal applications. The leaves are used to make teas and infusions which are traditionally used to treat various ailments such as eye infections, high blood pressure, sore throats and kidney problems. The early settlers in the Cape used the fruit to treat diarrhea. The juice from the fruit can also be used to make ink. The beautiful, finely grained, golden brown wood has long been much sought after for making fine furniture and ornaments as well as strong, durable fence posts.