Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spectacular Monthly Tree - October 2012

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.
Rhus lancea is a graceful evergreen with slender drooping branches, giving it an almost willow like appearance. Widespread throughout the country, the Karree grows in open woodland, along rivers and streams and is often found growing on termite mounds. The delicate appearance of this attractive tree belies it’s hardiness, as it can withstand frost as well as very dry conditions, making it an excellent choice as a shade tree in areas with difficult growing conditions.
The long leaflets are usually somewhat sickle shaped while the round fruit, which makes an excellent beer, are shiny brown and 4 – 5 mm in diameter when mature. These popular trees are suitable for a wide variety of landscaping applications as they are undemanding and always look lovely.
Botanical Name
Rhus lancea     
Common Name
Size Available
Quantity in Stock
Average Tree Height
Average Trunk Thickness
3+ cm
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 info@treeco.co.za
Availability List for October 2012

TreeCo provides our readers with a downloadable, updated Availability 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 Availability List.

TreeCo Big Tree Gallery - October 2012


The Saffron Pear of the Company Gardens

Every spring an ancient tree in Cape Town’s Company Gardens covers itself with beautiful white blossoms to herald in the new season.

The noble old Saffron pear (Pyris communis) was brought to the Cape from Holland in the time of Jan van Riebeeck when the gardens were in the process of being established by master gardener, Hendrick Boor.

The gardens were originally established as a fruit and vegetable garden to provide supplies for ships calling  at the Cape and were later expanded to include an herb and medicinal garden.

Later however, ornamental trees and plants were introduced and the old Saffron pear was the first ornamental tree to be planted in the garden making it the oldest cultivated tree in South Africa.

The original trunk of this magnificent tree eventually succumbed to old age and the four large stems that you see today are suckers that arose after the main trunk died.

In order to preserve this historic icon, major maintenance work was done on the Saffron pear in 1980. This consisted of removing all decomposed material from the four trunks and then treating the cleaned areas with a special sealant. Metal supports were then attached to the trunks to prevent any further damage from the elements.

Many visitors who value the history, peace and beauty of the magnificent Company gardens, spend some time to marvel at the wonderful old Saffron pear and reflect awhile on the 362 years of momentous events that this dignified old tree has survived.
Sophiatown Tree Before 

Pittosporum viridiflorum (Cheesewood)

The charming Pittosporum viridiflorum is a really useful evergreen tree with an attractive dense, straight or rounded crown and lovely glossy deep green foliage. The Cheesewood varies in size and shape depending on where it is planted and can be maintained as a small tree of about 4 m or left to grow to it’s full height. These delightful trees are irresistible to insectivorous birds when the sweetly fragrant flowers appear, along with a host of insects, while a wide variety of seed eating birds such as the red eyed dove, flock to the tree when the startlingly bright red seeds appear. Selected as one of the Trees of the Year 2002, Pittosporum viridiflorum is a truly excellent all rounder and is becoming increasingly popular as a garden and street tree throughout the country.
Botanical Name
Pittosporum viridiflorum
Common Name
RSA National Tree No’
Pittosporum viridiflorum is a beautiful, low maintenance, well shaped garden tree that can be planted in full sun or semi shade. The non aggressive root system of the charming Cheesewood makes it most suitable for small or townhouse gardens and they do especially well in large pots. These trees always create an eye catching show whether they are planted as a single specimen, as a group or as a lovely dense hedge. When the trusses of flowers appear they will reward you with their delightful honey fragrance wafting on the cool evening breeze and they will create a splash of bright colour when the fruit splits to reveal the masses of brilliant, shiny red seeds that are greatly relished by birds.
4 - 15m
3 - 6 m
Growth Habit
Pittosporum viridiflorum is found growing in bushveld, in tall forest and forest margins as well as in gorges, along river banks and rocky outcrops
Bark on young trees is smooth and grey with conspicuous lenticles becoming rougher as the tree matures
The broadly oblanceolate leaves are glossy dark green above and pale green underneath and are crowded at the ends of the branchlets. They exude a resinous aroma when crushed
The small creamy yellow flowers have a sweet honey fragrance and appear in terminal panicles from September to December
The yellowish brown fruit capsules are about 6 mm in diameter
The bright red seeds are covered with a sticky resinous substance
Growing regions
Pittosporum viridiflorum is widespread throughout the country occurring from the Western Cape up along the east coast and all the way through Gauteng up to Mpumalanga and Limpopo
Growing conditions
Although Cheesewood can withstand frost and drought conditions, these trees do better when given well drained soil and adequate water
Best season
Spring / Summer
Pittosporum viridiflorum can withstand frost and dry conditions
Cheesewood is easily propagated from seed that has been sown in a mixture of compost and sand and kept moist. Propagation by softwood or semi hardwood cuttings is highly successful
Growth rate
Medium to fast
The Cheesewood has a number of medicinal properties and the bark as well as the roots have traditionally been used for a variety of ailments. Infusions of the bark are used to treat stomach complaints and fever, easing pain and having a generally calming effect. The powdered root is believed to have an aphrodisiac effect and is sometimes added to beer. The wood is pale and soft but is sometimes used for kitchen utensils.
pittosporum viridiflorum flowerspittisporum viridiflorum barkpittisporum viridiflorum leaves flowers and fruit
             P. viridiflorum Leaves and Flowers                     P. viridiflorum Bark                               P. viridiflorum Flowers & Fruit