Could this be the perfect tree for your garden?

One of my favourite trees is Buckinghamia celsissima, commonly called the ivory curl tree. It's not very well known, but I think it's one of the best trees you can grow.

Buckinghamias are beautiful all year, with glossy foliage that is bronze when new and then becomes rich green.

They flower profusely in late summer and into autumn, bearing masses of large, cream, nectar-rich flowers that birds and bees love.

They are easy to grow, have no weed potential, and develop a lovely neat habit with a clear trunk and well-shaped canopy without the need for pruning.

They are evergreen and don't grow too big, reaching a height of about 8m in a garden. They will be shorter in cooler areas and taller in shaded situations.

Buckinghamias are remarkable - although they grow naturally in the moist rainforests of north-east Queensland, they will thrive in a wide range of conditions.

They will do best in rich, well-drained soil with adequate water while they are settling in, but are quite drought tolerant once established. They will grow in full sun to part shade.

They grow fairly quickly, and this rate will be enhanced if the conditions are good. Use water crystals in the bottom of the planting hole, enrich the soil with organic matter and mulch well to conserve water and suppress weeds.

Buckinghamias flower quite young, at about two to five years of age. They don't seem to be bothered by any pests or diseases, either, making them an easy-care feature in a garden.

This must be close to the perfect tree for a home garden. They aren't known for having an invasive root system or for dropping lots of leaves and limbs, but I would still keep them several metres from any buildings or swimming pools. The same goes for any tree, really.

The lovely shape means they can be under-planted with shade-loving species that will enjoy the protection offered by the tree. Because Buckinghamias are evergreen, that shade will be available year-round.

I don't understand why we don't see more of these lovely trees. When they are in bloom, they are absolutely smothered in flowers and they are just so easy to grow.



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