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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:54 pm
Posts: 3
Hi everyone,

I thought this might be a fun way for me to learn and for you to share. I live in South Africa, near Pretoria in what I would describe as Zone 9/10 with summer rainfall and dry winters. We recently moved to a smallholding and I would like to create a large garden with lots of beautiful trees, but there are so many different trees to choose from that it is hard to know were to start!

I'd love to hear from all of you which is your ten or twenty favourite ornamental trees?! (For the purpose of this discussion please exclude palm trees, they deserve a thread of their own!)

Even if you live in a much colder zone, let us know what you would have grown if you lived in a Zone 10 climate.

I look forward to hearing from you all!

Kind regards,

Pieter


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 948
Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
How much rain do you get? Are you willing to irrigate? Is water cheap enough that you can irrigate heavily? Is your soil quality high or low, if low is it soggy clay or perfectly drained gravel? Are you more interested in their architectural aspect or fruit?

If you are able to provide lots of water, you can grow pretty much anything with a modest frost tolerance. However, you are in a 'low chill' climate for temperate fruit, so you'll find that many apple/pear/peach/plum varieties don't chill enough to flower most years. There are 'low-chill' varieties available, but the most well known cultivars are generally not low-chill.

You should be able to grow: most citrus, avacado, apricot, and low-chill fruits.

If water is a limiting factor, most large cacti and succulents should be able to live in your climate with no additional water. Many are tree-like in stature and will produce flowers, and even fruit in a few cases.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:54 pm
Posts: 3
Hi there,

Thanks for the response! We get about 600 mm (24 inches) of rain per annum distributed mainly from December through April. Irigation is not a problem as we have a strong borehole.

I'd say we have a high soil quality. The local soil is a fertile free draining red soil, i.e. not clay nor sand. The only problem with our soil is the resident colony of molerats, which I'm afraid will have to move out...

I'm mainly interested in trees with beautiful flowers, interesting shapes or other unuaual features and NOT in fruit trees such as Citrus, Pears, Apples, Plums etc. Unusual tropical fruit trees are also good though.

To give you an idea of what can grow in the area, there is a large Ficus benjamina, Delonix regia, Spathodea campanulata, an Avocado tree and some Lychee trees on the property at the moment.

To get things started a few of my favourite trees are:

Schizolobium parahybum
Adansonia grandidierii
Colvilea reacemosa
Delonix regia
Davidia involucrata
Taxodium distichum
Araucaria araucana
Acasia xanthophloea
Dombeya cacuminum
Pachira aquatica

So, what's your 10 favourite trees???

Cheers,

Pieter


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 3821
Location: Tucson, Arizona
I enjoy the Olneya tesota (Ironwood Tree) and the two Palo Verde Trees in our area the Cercidium microphyllum and Cercidium floridum.
In my neighborhood the Olneya starts with its delicate faint purple blooms and then the Cercidium begin to paint the whole area bright yellow. It is quite an experience every spring.
AZED

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ArizonaEd--Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society-- www.tucsoncactus.org


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