Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Our Sneak Preview of a Recent Cavalli Estate Landscape

Keith Kirsten Horticulture International recently designed and installed a stunning landscape at the exquisite Cavalli Wine and Stud Farm in Stellenbosch, for which TreeCo provided trees. Below are some images of the landscape in progress, and in the coming months, we will reveal the true resultant splendour of this exceptional landscape project.


Important Plant Families in South Africa - Myrtaceae

In order to facilitate the identification of our wealth of lovely South African trees, it is helpful to be familiar with the most prominent plant families in an area as well as the characteristics that distinguish each plant family. Every month we will feature one of the most important and well represented plant families, focusing on easily recognisable features to assist identification.

Myrtaceae (Guava family)

This mostly tropical and subtropical family is represented by some 25 species of trees that are indigenous to South Africa.

Myrtaceae is an easy to recognise family in this region as they are usually evergreen and all have a combination of simple, opposite, entire leaves with secretory cavities or gland dotted leaves. Many members of this family have leaves that are aromatic when crushed.

The puff-like flowers have numerous showy stamens while the ovary is almost always inferior, resulting in fruit that is crowned by a persistent calyx.

Myrtaceae is an economically important family, as several of the introduced species yield valuable timber, and are grown in commercial plantations.

Other exotic members of this economically valuable family include Pimenta dioica which produces allspice or pimento, Syzygium aromaticum which produces cloves and the well known Psidium guajava or delectable guava.

Local members of this family include Eugenia capensis (Dune myrtle), Metrosideros angustifolia (Lance-leafed myrtle), Syzygium cordatum (Water berry), Eugenia natalitia (Common forest myrtle) and Syzygium guineense (Water pear).

Classification Myrtaceae

Spectacular Monthly Tree - August2013

The spectacular Erythrina caffra is a large, deciduous tree with abundant clusters of magnificent orange-red flowers that cover the bare branches before the new leaves appear in spring. Widely cultivated for their beautiful flowers, Erythrina caffra should be part of every South African garden. These lovely, easy to grow trees need no special care as they are drought resistant and will thrive in any soil with good drainage and, as the common name suggests, they can withstand harsh coastal conditions. Although these rewarding trees perform best in full sun and prefer a warm climate, magnificent specimens can be seen throughout the country.

Botanical Name
Erythrina caffra
Common Name
Coast Coral Tree
Size Available
200 lt
Quantity in Stock
Average Tree Height
2.5 m
Average Trunk Thickness
8-10 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
Availability List for August 2013

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.

Ocotea bullata (Stinkwood)

The splendid Ocotea bullata must be one of South Africa’s best known and highly prized indigenous trees. Along with the Yellowwood, the number of these magnificent trees was seriously depleted in our natural forests due to indiscriminate harvesting to satisfy the high demand for the superb timber. With careful management however, their numbers have gradually increased, but the Stinkwood remains a protected species. For this reason these superb shade trees are a valuable and worthwhile addition to the landscape.
Botanical Name
Ocotea bullata
Common Name
RSA National Tree No’
The stately Ocotea bullata is one of the best choices as a shade tree for large gardens or parks where its striking appearance can be fully appreciated. These majestic trees look spectacular as a specimen on a large lawn or as an imposing focal point in the landscape when under-planted with an attractive selection of shade loving shrubs and perennials, such as Azaleas, Cyatheas, Clivias and ferns to name but a few. The Stinkwood is also an excellent subject for planting along an imposing driveway, creating a breathtaking avenue or for enhancing any large area where a truly beautiful evergreen tree is sought.
Height30 m
4 – 5 m
Growth Habit
Ocotea bullata is typically found growing in deep soils in high forests and kloofs and occasionally in mountain scrub.
The bark of young Stinkwood trees is smooth and light grey with pink or mauve markings becoming rougher and darker as the tree ages.
The large, glossy, aromatic leaves have wavy margins, and are dark green above and somewhat paler underneath. The leaves have distinctive ‘blisters’ or bubbles on the upper surface in the axils of the veins.
The tiny, yellowish green flowers are borne in axillary clusters from December to February.
 The 20mm long, oval fruit resembles an acorn with the lower part set in a cup shaped receptacle. The fruit ripens to purple in autumn.
The brownish, seed is 10-13 mm long.
Growing regions
Ocotea bullata occurs naturally from the kloofs of Table Mountain in the Western Cape, all along the southern Cape coastal region and up along the east coast as far as Limpopo.
Growing conditions
The Stinkwood is a forest subject and generally prefers a shady position with well composted soil and adequate moisture.
Best season
All year
Ocotea bullata is fairly hardy but will not tolerate extremely dry conditions.
Propagation can be done using cuttings but these may be quite difficult to root. The best and most successful method is by planting seed that has been freshly harvested and sown immediately. Germination takes approximately 30 days.
Growth rate
Depending on conditions, medium to fast.
Stinkwood has been used medicinally by indigenous peoples for centuries. Various concoctions made from the bark are used for headaches, urinary diseases as well as for emotional and nervous conditions. The exquisitely patterned, finely textured and naturally lustrous timber, ranges in colour from reddish brown or deep walnut to almost black, making it highly sought after for fine cabinet making, gun stocks, doors, windows and wagon parts.
Stinkwood flowersStinkwood leavesStinkwood bark