Monday, October 4, 2010

TreeCo becomes Cyber-active on Facebook!

Facebook is now seen as virtually the most commonplace forum for friends and family to keep in touch. 

Over the last two years however, more and more business are using Facebook, as well as other social networking tools to connect with their customers. 

Why bother you may ask? The answer is simple – we are able to keep you informed quickly, easily – and most importantly – personally, as Rudi and Leske will be posting regular updates to our Facebook page. 

So what information will we be sharing with you? 

Tips and Tricks – handy tips from Rudi and Leske regarding how to plant and care for trees Inspiration – inspiring words that will make your day! 

Spectacular Trees – Trees that are looking particularly good – in addition to what we feature in this newsletter.
Events – Special invitations to events that you would find valuable 

Gallery – Regularly updated, the gallery will let you see the nursery, beautiful trees and other stunning imagery
So become a fan of TreeCo on Facebook today – we would love to see you there! 

Click on the Facebook Badge below to join us!

Prepare your Trees for Summer!

Now that spring is here it is vitally important to prepare your trees now to ensure strong and healthy growth throughout summer.
Here are a few essential tips from the TreeCo team:-
  • Cultivation to within about 2m of the trunk of the tree should be kept to a minimum as deep cultivation can damage the roots.
  • Loosen the soil around the tree carefully and sprinkle the manufacturer’s recommended quantity of organic fertiliser around the tree, preferably out to the drip line. Rapid Raiser and Bounceback, which are organic fertilisers, are both good options.
  • Rake the fertiliser in and water the area thoroughly ensuring that the water penetrates the soil as deeply as possible. Do not allow fertiliser to touch the trunk of the tree.
  • Cover the area with a thick layer of organic material such as compost or milled bark to help keep weeds to a minimum, conserve moisture in the soil and to supply the tree with continual nutrients as the mulch breaks down. Once again, the mulch should not touch the trunk as this can cause damage.
The mulch should be regularly replenished throughout the growing season and the trees should be given adequate water DISCOUNT CODE TSMD0050 on a regular basis. By following these simple guidelines your trees will reward you with lush and healthy growth all summer long.
Consultation and Advise
Rudi and Leske are always available to assist you in providing information regarding growth problems, pest problems – or other concerns that you may be experiencing regarding your trees. Give Rudi a call on 082 829 5543, or Leske on 072 385 0270 with any queries you may have, or alternatively email us at  

TreeCo Big Tree Gallery - October 2010

Spectacular monthly tree - Populus simonii

Our Populus simonii are looking so spectacular at the moment that we are featuring this amazing tree in our monthly review as well! Although this lovely tree is not indigenous, it is superbly suited to our local climate and provides an interesting alternative to some of our hardy indigenous trees. Unlike some of the other poplars, Populus simonii does not sucker, making it suitable for almost any urban situation where a tree with beautiful luxuriant growth, yet requiring little maintenance, is sought. For more detailed information on this remarkable tree visit this month’s tree review.
Botanical NamePopulus simonii
Common Name                Chinese poplar                
Bag Size 200 lt
Quantity Available 80
Average Tree Height
& Trunk Thickness
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
Looking Good List for October 2010

TreeCo provides our readers with a downloadable, updated Looking Good List every month. 

Please note that should you not find the tree that you are looking for on this list, TreeCo will readily source what you require, on your behalf. Rudi and Leske Neethling personally ensure that all trees supplied by TreeCo, conform to our high quality standards.
Please CLICK HERE to download our latest Looking Good List.
This document is available as a PDF document and will require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader loaded on your computer, please click on the link below which will allow you to download this free program quickly and easily.

Populus simonii (Chinese poplar)

Populus simonii is well known throughout the greater Cape Town area where the appearance of the profusion of decorative catkins and the delicate green of the new leaves, heralds the arrival of spring.

Although this charming tree is not indigenous, it is particularly well suited to the often difficult growing conditions in this area, especially the long, hot and dry summers as well as the gale force winds. The non suckering Chinese poplar, has a lovely, neat, rounded crown of shiny green foliage which turns bright yellow in autumn before being shed in winter. The somewhat delicate appearance of this attractive tree belies it’s extreme hardiness and ability to adapt to the most unfavourable conditions. In China, Populus simonii has been extremely successfully used for the reforestation of large areas of desert, in spite of severe winters with heavy snow and hot dry summers with searing temperatures in excess of 40 degrees as well as continuous strong winds.


Botanical Name
Populus simonii
Common Name
Chinese poplar
RSA National Tree No’


The beautiful Chinese poplar is a lovely addition to almost any type of garden as it lends interest throughout the year, changing  it’s appearance as each new season approaches. This is an excellent specimen tree on a large lawn, or showcase the wonderful uniform growth habit to it’s best advantage by creating an eye catching avenue along a driveway, or even as an effective windbreak along a fence line. As the Populus simonii is so hardy it is a perfect choice for any public area where difficult growing conditions prevail. For seaside gardens with harsh drying winds and sandy soil, Chinese poplar will reward the homeowner with fast, lush growth as well as binding the soil and offering protection for less hardy plants. Several butterfly larvae feed off this tree.


8m – 15m
2m – 6m
Growth Habit
Populus simonii is found in mountainous regions as well as low lying plains and valleys, often near rivers and streams.
The bark of young trees is smooth, white to greenish or dark grey often with conspicuous lenticles. On older trees the bark is dark grey, rough and fissured.
The ovate to lanceolate dark green leaves, are arranged spirally with a long, flattened petiole. In general the leaves on the side shoots are smaller than those on the stronger growing lead shoots. 
The flowers appear in early spring and are borne in long drooping catkins which are formed in the axils of the previous year’s leaves. The male flowers comprise a group of 4-6 stamens inserted on a disc. The filaments are short and pale yellow with oblong purple or red anthers. They are bi-celled and open longitudinally. The female flowers consist of a single celled ovary seated in a cup-shaped disc. The catkins lengthen considerably between pollination and maturity.
 The fruit consists of a green to reddish-brown valved capsule that matures in mid summer.
The numerous minute light brown seeds are surrounded by tufts of long soft hairs which aid wind dispersal.


Growing regions
Populus simonii is widespread throughout the Northern Hemisphere but is particularly common in South- East China where it originates.
Growing conditions
The versatile Chinese poplar enjoys moist conditions but will do equally well in dry, sandy soils, especially if good compost and a thick mulch are added.
Best season
This hardy tree can withstand a wide range of conditions including frost and severe drought.
Populus simonii can be propagated from seed but this takes a long time. The easiest and quickest method of propagation is from soft wood cuttings that have been treated with a little growth hormone, planted in river sand and kept moist.
Growth rate
 Fast, 1m per year.


 During the renaissance in Italy, the most popular wood used for panel paintings was poplar, in fact, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is painted on a poplar panel. Most of the famous paintings by well known artists from this period are painted on poplar panels.
As a timber, poplar is used to make pallets, plywood and even matches while the pulp is used in paper making. Poplar logs are used for growing Shiitake mushrooms.


                            P.simonii Bark                                P.simonii catkins                                 P.simonii Leaves