Tree Species Profile – Palm

It is common for people to think of palms as fenny looking tropical shrubs with sharp spines. Perhaps it’s common to see people grow palms here and there especially for their foliage and general fresh nature that it brings along with. Having palms is thus both a good thing but could represent a few dangers here and there is not carefully approached. You don’t want to go around blundering into a palm filled field as there thorny nature is not very welcoming. In this article, you will get to learn a few things about palm trees in Australia.

Roystonea regia

Well, a most common type of palm tree in Australia is the Roystonea regia or rather Cuban royal palm that is found in most parts of Brisbane, Australia. Many people find it to be beautiful and very attractive to have in parks and even compounds. It is one of the tall palm tree types that you would just love walking through on a windy day. Having originated from the subtropical parts of Cuba, this palm tree is widely found all over the world. You will find it on many coastlines, but is equally grown deeper in the country.

Pruning of the tree as it grows

A common practice done on the tall varieties of palms is pruning. Pruning is ideally done to maintain and enhance proper growth. As with most plants, cutting of branches ensures that the trunks grow to full heights. The branches are thus cut down at different levels to avoid depriving it of food or even killing it. As will may arborists agree, palm tree pruning isn’t an easy task especially on species such as Zombia antillarum or Acrocomia aculeata that have spiny trunks and leaves all over. Additionally, incorrect pruning can also lead to death of the tree. You don’t want to cut of the buds as it kills off the tree or leads to stunted growth.

Dangers involved with palm tree growing

Well, as widely seen in this article, the scary thing about most palm species is there thorny leaves and trunks that make it very dangerous to work around. This is that case especially with the low or short trunk species that form bushes all over. Some grow spiny leaves at a young age to protect them from herbivores all over. While some species lose the spiny nature on growing up, other retain it making them difficult to climb on even in their adulthood. You have to also be careful when spending time under tall palm species as old branches can hit your head when they fall off. Their fruits can also cause injury if you are not careful when walking around such as coconuts.

Benefits of palm trees

Finally, the best part of palm trees is that they have lots of benefits that make people to grow them in many parts of the world. The spiny nature can be dangerous, but make them good for hedges and fences for the people who love beautiful compounds. Some fruits offered by certain species such as coconuts have made oil among other food products that are loved by scores around the world. It is generally just ice to have the palm trees in the environment.


Tree Species Profile: Jacaranda

In late spring and early summer, Australian streets are usually resplendent in the purplish-blue blooms of jacarandas. It goes without saying that the spectacle is breathtaking. There are thousands of tree species in Australian soil, this article, however, profiles the jacaranda also known as Jacaranda mimosifolia.

Regardless of being spectacular, this particular tree species looks incredible on their own especially as a tree specimen on an open lawn where their falling flowers create a beautiful carpet of blue.

Many people think the jacaranda trees are Australian natives; this is not the case. The tree species are originally from Brazil. In Brazil, they are deciduous because of the dry and wet monsoon. They usually shed their leaves albeit briefly at the end of the dry season then grow them when the rains come.

On average, a jacaranda tree can reach a height of 10-15 meters, spreading for the same size. This fact means you need to be careful as you plant them because THE branches usually extend a long way. When planted on the spot, the jacaranda tree often provides great shade. Do not, however, let them overhang a swimming pool. AS I mentioned earlier, jacaranda trees shed a lot of leaves; this may eventually cause the pool filter to clog.

Although we are more familiar with the purplish blue color of jacarandas, we also have a white flowered variety commonly referred to as “white Christmas.” This variety cannot be found in local nurseries, should you wish to buy one you shall have to make a particular order. Should you want to find the blue, faster-flowering variety, you can check nurseries in tropical and warm temperate zones as they are readily available.

The jacaranda mimosifolia usually grows in warm tropical climates although they can also thrive in colder areas which get light snow. They don’t, however, flower as well in cooler temperatures and usually grow slowly and are found in smaller sizes.

This tree species thrives best in well-drained, sun-lit, fertile soil provided there is regular watering in summer and mulching around the roots with organic matter such as straw and compost. This procedure helps retain soil moisture, particularly in summer.

Jacarandas can be grown from seed, although there is usually a variety of color and they are bound to take longer to flower. Ideally, you can always try transplanting because it is easier and doesn’t cost you a cent.

The proper shape of a jacaranda tree is usually that of an umbrella. Therefore, pruning may and will alter the form of these beautiful trees. What’s more, once the branches are pruned, the tree will send up vertical shoots which will make the tree look odd. You should regularly prune the vertical shoots as well to retain its umbrella shape.

One of the main disadvantages of planting a jacaranda tree is the fact that the flowers attract insects particularly bees. This attraction may cause your pets and children, if any, to be regularly stung by the bees. It is, therefore, advisable to rake the flowers, especially between October and April.


Tree Species Profile – Eucalyptus

A significant portion of the Australian flora is comprised of Eucalypts which are also known as gum trees. These particular types of trees are actually an essential component of the Australian culture and they feature in the literature, music as well as the art of the country. Known for their distinctive smell, the eucalyptus finds a place in the iconic photographs and paintings. In fact, the Blue Mountains in Australia derived their name from the very sight of the blue smoke from the eucalyptus oil coming out from the bush in the mountains situated on the western part of Sydney.

They are available in a variety of shapes as well as sizes, from small shrubs to tall trees. Being a dominant part of the flora in Australia, they are spread across the continent and the only place where they are absent happens to be the high alpine regions. However, they are rather scarce in the dry interior of Australia as well as the rain-forests although they are present along the streams and also in the isolated ranges.

The Tasmanian Blue Gum or simply Southern Blue Gum (eucalyptus globulus) is among the most typically cultivated trees in this region. In the year 2006, it consisted of 70% of all the plantation hardwood in the country with approximately 5000 km planted. It can be mentioned here that eucalyptus globulus is actually the main source of the production of eucalyptus oil on the planet.

The eucalyptus is an important resource of the environment in Australia, ranging from contemporary production to aboriginal use. Various species are utilized for specific food items as well as medicinal purposes. These trees have been a significant source of firewood and timber for the Australians for many centuries and they are also a vital part of the timber industry.

They also provide shelter to numerous species of native Australian birds and animals. In fact, the only food items consumed by the koalas are the gum leaves of some particular varieties.

These trees are quite adaptable in nature. Within different species, there might be physical adaptations to several factors such as closeness to water as well as soil aspect. For instance, E. pseudolobules (Gippsland Bluegum) can grow to a height of 30 to 40 m in the Inland forests and it can also adapt itself to the coastal cliffs by developing into plants with a comparatively short height.

Evolved to deal with the climate of Australia, the eucalyptus have adapted to endure bush fires as well as drought. However, one of the main dangers of these trees is the fact that they can be a fire hazard. However, re-growth helps them to regenerate following the fire.

The eucalyptus is useful in decreasing the water table which helps to provide windbreaks as well as shade. There are also other uses apart from forestry that are financially essential to the small industries. These consist of production of honey, eucalyptus oil and also cut flowers. Another significant use of eucalyptus is the fact that they are an important source of wood. Australian timbers usually display unique characteristics in color variations and grain patterns and provide an exclusive touch to the arts as well as craft pieces manufactured in Australia.

Eucalyptus has also been mentioned in the poetry and literature in Australia. As a matter of fact, many Australian writers have tried to capture its presence in the scenery.