Where do jacaranda trees come from?

Jacaranda Tree Information – How To Grow A Jacaranda Tree

The first time someone sees a jacaranda tree (Jacaranda mimosifolia), they may think they’ve spied something out of a fairy tale. This lovely tree often spans the width of a front yard, and is covered in beautiful lavender purple blooms every spring. Read on to learn how to grow a jacaranda tree if you have the right environment.

Growing jacaranda trees is mostly a matter of having the right environment, as they’re strictly southern trees that thrive in Florida and parts of Texas and California. Gardeners living further north often have success growing jacaranda as a large houseplant, and they have been known to make spectacular bonsai specimens.

Jacaranda Tree Information

Jacarandas are true southern trees, thriving in USDA plant hardiness zones 9b through 11. Jacaranda tree hardiness is tested when the temperature drops below 15 F. (-9 C.), and they do best above the freezing point.

They prefer a sandy soil with great drainage, and show off their lavender blooms best when planted in full sun. They grow relatively fast and will get up to 60 feet tall and just as wide. The spreading branches may fill your entire front yard.

How to Plant and Care for a Jacaranda Tree

Choose the spot for your tree wisely. One piece of jacaranda tree information that many nurseries and catalogs don’t share is that when the flowers drop, they cover the ground in a thick layer and must be raked up before they decompose into slime. An afternoon with a rake will do the trick, but this is the reason so many jacarandas are planted as street trees, allowing most of the spent blooms to fall on the street instead of in the yard.

Plant the tree in an open spot with sandy soil and full sun. Keep the soil moist deep down by soaking it with a hose for half an hour, but letting it dry out in between waterings.

Care for a jacaranda tree almost always includes pruning. In order to give it the best shape to show off those blooms, smaller branches should be trimmed early in the spring. Clip off suckers that grow vertically and keep one main trunk with some major branches leading off from the middle. Keep excess branches cut, to prevent the weight of the tree from splitting the trunk.

Scientific name

Jacaranda mimosifolia (Jacaranda)

Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Don

Synonyms

Jacaranda chelonia Grisb.; J. ovalifolia R. Br.

Common names

Jacaranda, mucakaranda (Kikuyu), omosaria (Kisii), fern tree

Family

Bignoniaceae

Origin

Native to South America (southern Bolivia and north-western Argentina).

Naturalised distribution (global)

Locations within which Jacaranda mimosifolia is naturalised include the warmer parts of eastern Australia, southern Africa, Hawaii, south-eastern USA and outside its native range in southern South America.

Introduced, naturalised or invasive in East Africa

Jacaranda mimosifolia is naturalised in parts of Kenya and Uganda (A.B.R. Witt pers. obs.) and Tanzania (Henderson 2002).

Habitat

Jacaranda mimosifolia can grow in bushland, grassland, wooded ravines and riverbanks. The spreading growth habit and the dense foliage shade out native plants and prevent their regeneration.

Description

Deciduous or evergreen tree, 5-15 m tall. Its main distinguishing feature is its spectacular lavender blue blooms which has led to its popularity as an ornamental tree. Jacaranda mimosifolia is fast growing and resprouts easily if damaged.

Its bark is thin and grey-brown in colour, smooth when the tree is young though it eventually becomes finely scaly. The twigs are slender and slightly zigzag; they are a light reddish-brown in colour. Twice-pinnately compound leaves, up to 45 cm long.

Its flowers are beautiful, lavender blue, tubular, 2.5 cm long, appear in dense 15 – 25 cm terminal clusters with often the entire tree in flower and later the ground turning blue as the flowers fall off. Round, flat, reddish brown, woody capsule, 4 – 5 cm in diameter containing numerous small winged seeds.

Economic and other uses

Its main value is as an ornamental tree widely grown in urban areas worldwide. It also has medicinal properties. However, these uses cannot compensate for this plant’s overall negative impacts.

Environmental and other impacts

Jacaranda mimosifolia is regarded as an invasive species in parts of South Africa and Queensland, Australia, where it can out-compete native species. It can form thickets of seedlings beneath planted trees from which the species may expand and exclude other vegetation.

J. mimosifolia has been listed as a Category 3 invader in South Africa (no further planting is allowed – except with special permission – nor is trade in propagative material. Existing plants must be prevented from spreading).

Management

The precise management measures adopted for any plant invasion will depend upon factors such as the terrain, the cost and availability of labour, the severity of the infestation and the presence of other invasive species. Some components of an integrated management approach are introduced below.

The best form of invasive species management is prevention. If prevention is no longer possible, it is best to treat the weed infestations when they are small to prevent them from establishing (early detection and rapid response). Controlling the weed before it seeds will reduce future problems. Control is generally best applied to the least infested areas before dense infestations are tackled. Consistent follow-up work is required for sustainable management.

Jacaranda mimosifolia is very difficult to control once established. Large trees must be ring-barked or cut down below ground level and any regrowth treated with herbicide. . When using any herbicide always read the label first and follow all instructions and safety requirements. If in doubt consult an expert.

Legislation

Not listed as a noxious weed by the state or governments in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Henderson, L. (2001). Alien weeds and invasive plants. A complete guide to declared weeds and invaders in South Africa. Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12, 300pp. PPR, ARC South Africa.

Henderson, L. (2002). Problem plants in Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Final Report to the NCAA.

Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). Jacaranda mimosifolia D.Don, Bignonaceae: plant threats to Pacific ecosystems. www.hear.org/Pier/species/ jacaranda_mimosifolia.htm. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Hawaii, USA. Accessed March 2011.

Wikipedia contributors. “Jacaranda mimosifolia.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed March 2011.

Editors

Agnes Lusweti, National Museums of Kenya; Emily Wabuyele, National Museums of Kenya, Paul Ssegawa, Makerere University; John Mauremootoo, BioNET-INTERNATIONAL Secretariat – UK.

Acknowledgments

This fact sheet is adapted from The Environmental Weeds of Australia by Sheldon Navie and Steve Adkins, Centre for Biological Information Technology, University of Queensland. We recognise the support from the National Museums of Kenya, Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) – Tanzania and Makerere University, Uganda. This activity was undertaken as part of the BioNET-EAFRINET UVIMA Project (Taxonomy for Development in East Africa).

Contact

BioNET-EAFRINET Regional Coordinator: [email protected]

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The cherry blossoms that have made Washington, D.C. even more of a tourist hotspot have finally met their West Coast counterpart—purple jacaranda mimosifolia trees. They’ve just started to bloom in Southern California, and the spectacular sight will give you flower fever. Jacaranda trees aren’t native to the U.S.—they more than likely were exported from Brazil, South Africa, and Argentina by horticulturalists because of their beautiful color, which is just starting to show for the summer.

Late May is right on schedule for these trees to blossom, Frank McDonough, botanist at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia, recently told the Pasadena Star News. “They are not completely out yet: Usually by the first week of June, they will have all their leaves gone and showing mostly flowers.”

The first week of June has arrived, and the purple and blue trumpet-shaped flowers have begun to burst with their summertime colors from Pasadena to Santa Ana, Beverly Hills, and Long Beach. Like cherry blossoms, jacaranda trees can be just a bit messy—their flowers often fall to the ground and cover the sidewalks and streets below, just like the classic pink bloom of cherry trees.

If you’re thinking of planting your own jacaranda trees, fair warning: They only thrive in southern states, like the lower parts of California, Florida, and parts of Texas. They need full sun to grow, and can sprout over 60 feet tall.

Not in a southern state? Don’t worry—you still have time to head to California and catch the jacaranda trees that are in bloom for a few more months.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Bonsai Trees

For those of you who love trees, but simply don’t have the space for them in your yard, have you ever considered bonsai trees?

Bonsai trees, for those of you who don’t know, are small trees that are kept in containers. The word bonsai actually refers to the Japanese art of cultivating and growing beautiful small trees that actually mimic a large tree. This is a tradition that has been carried out for over a thousand years.

These trees look amazing and unique, and they are actually fairly easy to grow and care for. If you are interested in growing them yourself, you have come to the right place. Let’s take an in-depth look on how to grow, plant, take care of, and/or purchase bonsai trees.

There are many different ‘styles’ of bonsai trees that you can have, next we are going to discuss some of the most common ones you will come across.

Informal Upright Style (Moyogi)

This type of bonsai tree grows upright, but it still has gentle curves in its trunk. As the trunk grows out of the soil, it comes out first at an angle, and then curves back and forth a few times before reaching the top of the tree.

You have most likely seen this type of bonsai tree, as it is the most common one typically. It’s perfect for beginners – it is suitable for most species of trees, especially deciduous and flowering trees like elms, prunus, quince, and maples.

Formal Upright Style (Chokkan)

For this style, the tree truck is completely straight and upright, and it has a visible taper with the widest part of the trunk at the base of the tree. This is usually supported by a suitable radial nebari (or its root structure).

This style is found naturally in nature in certain species of trees, like specific Conifers, and when a tree is growing in a open area without having to compete for light.

These are extremely regal and timeless, and will add great quality to the area you are growing them in.

Slanting Style (Shakan)

This style of bonsai tree consists of a slanted trunk that grows at an angle to the surface it is growing on – it looks like the tree was blown sideways with a huge gust of wind. While being very unique and strange looking, this is a great conversation starter if you decide to grow a bonsai tree in this particular style.

How to Get Started

There are several steps to getting started with growing your own bonsai tree.

1. Make sure that you select an appropriate tree species for the climate you live in.

Bonsai trees can be made from almost any type of tree, including some tropical plants and other options that may not be suited for all types of weather. Because of this, you will want to do some research to see what hardiness zone your area is in, and what trees are best for that location.

If you still aren’t sure what you should be choosing, the employees at your local plant nurseries and garden supply stores can help you choose as well.

Some common favorites for growing bonsai trees include the juniper tree, which is a hardy evergreen that can survive in any northern climate and some even warmer regions as well. Spruces, cedars, and pines are also extremely popular choices as well, and we love using trees like Japanese maples, elms, and oaks too.As for tropical plants, jade and snowrose are great choices for indoor bonsai trees in temperate or cool climates.

2. Indoor or outdoor?

While this may not seem like a huge decision, you should definitely know if you are planning on having an outdoor or indoor bonsai tree because their needs will change drastically.

Indoor trees are typically going to receive less light and stay dryer, while outdoor areas receive lots of natural sun and rain. For this reason, there are certain varieties that you should keep inside/outside depending on what they are.

Common outdoor choices: maple, birch, beech, ginkgo, elm, larch, juniper, and cypress trees.

Common indoor choices: gardenia, kingsville boxwood, ficus, serissa, and hawaiian umbrella trees.

3. Make sure that you consider the sizing of everything.

Bonsai trees come in a huge variety of sizes. You can have full grown trees that are as small as 6 inches, and anywhere up to 3 feet tall, it just depends on the species of the tree you go with.

However you shouldn’t stop at just considering the size of the actual bonsai tree. You also need to think about the space you available at your home, your desk, or outdoors, as well as the size of the container you have for it, and the amount of sunlight you will have available.

4. When you are ready to choose a plant to become your bonsai tree, make sure to look for a vibrant and healthy one with a fresh, green leaf/needle color.

If, however, you decide to grow it from a seed, know that you will have much more control over its growth in every single stage of its development. On the other end of this though, you will have to wait up to five years to grow from a seed to a full grown tree. This option is really only if you want something to invest in over a few years and don’t mind not having the final product right away.

You can also grow your bonsai tree from a cutting as well. A cutting is simply a branch cut from a growing tree and transplanted to new soil to start a seperate (but 100% genetically identical) plant. This is a great compromise if you want to have a lot of control over the tree’s growth, but don’t want to start from a seed.

5. Select the perfect pot for your bonsai tree.

Bonsai trees are planted into pots that will restrict their growth. However, you will have to choose a pot that is large enough to hold enough soil to cover the roots of the plant. Having the perfect plant in mind first will make this process a lot easier.

When you water the bonsai tree, it will absorb moisture from the soil through its roots. If you don’t have enough soil in the pot, the tree will not be able to retain the moisture that it needs.

On top of the size, you will also want to make sure you make one or two drainage holes at the bottom of the pot as well. This will prevent root rot and keep your tree healthy.

A lot of beginners choose to grow their bonsai trees in more plain, practical containers, then they transfer them to more aesthetically pleasing when the trees are fully grown. This is a great idea if you have a fragile tree species to work with, as it makes you hold off from buying a more expensive container before you know it’s going to be successful.

How to Pot Your Bonsai Tree

To plant your tree in the container you want it to grow in, you will first want to remove it from the container you bought it in and clean off its roots. Be very careful when you are removing the tree not to damage or break its main stem – consider using a potting shovel to pry the plant out without damaging it.

Make sure that you brush away any dirt that has caked itself in and around the root system of your trees. You can use chopsticks, tweezers, and root rakes to make this process a little simpler for you.

You will also want to prune the roots as well. If their growth is not controlled well, the bonsai tree may very well try to outgrow its container. Simply cut any extremely large, thick roots, as well as any that face upwards off of the root system. This will leave behind a network of long and skinny roots that will sit near the surface of the soil.

Since water is absorbed through the tips of the roots, it is better in a small container to have many thin root strands instead of only a few thick ones.

Next you will want to prepare the new pot that the bonsai tree is going into. Make sure that the tree has a base of new, fresh soil to be placed in that gives it the height you desire. At the bottom of the pot, add a layer of coarse-grain soil as its base, then add a much finer, looser medium soil above this. Make sure it is a soil that drains well, that way the roots aren’t going to be drowned when it gets watered.

At the top of the pot, make sure to leave a small amount of space so you can cover the trees roots when it is placed in the container.

When potting the tree, make sure that the tree is positioned just how you want it to look. After that you can cover the roots with the remaining, well-draining soil to hold it in place. You can also add a final layer of moss and/or rocks for a nice aesthetic.

If you are having difficulties keeping the tree standing upright, simply run a heavy gauge wire in from the bottom of the pot through its drainage holes, and tie the wire around the root system to hold it in place.

You might also want to install mesh screens over the drainage holes on the pot to prevent any soil erosion from happening. This occurs when water carries soil out of the pot through the drainage holes.

Pruning and Shaping

Your bonsai tree will need consistent and frequent pruning in order to look right. There are also several different types of pruning to consider for your plant to look and feel good.

1. Pruning for Aesthetics.

To make sure you don’t cause too much damage to the tree, or stunt its growth, you should only prune for aesthetic purposes while the tree is dormant. This means during the winter months of November to February typically.

Make sure to cut back any large branches that protrude from the tree, as well as branches with unnatural twists or ones that are just ugly. To do this, cut each branch above a node in a place that keeps the tree looking balanced. Use branch cutters to keep it looking neat.

If you want to have light able to filter through the canopy and reach the lower branches, trim back the twigs and branches on top of the tree. This also allows you to shape the canopy to the desired shape and size. Use your branch cutters to trim down any out of place branches so that the canopy is balanced and shaped nicely.

If you come across any suckers, which are small offshoots that tend to grow on branches or the base of the trunk, pluck them off with your fingers to keep the tree looking neat and trimmed.

2. Pruning for Maintenance

For general maintenance for your bonsai tree, which should be done regularly, there are several steps to take as well.

Make that you remove all of the dead wood/weeds/leaves from around the bonsai pot and on the tree itself. Carefully remove all the weeds too, but do so carefully so you don’t damage the roots of your bonsai.

Also trim any broken or crossed branches that you find. Branches that cross each other may leave wounds that will allow diseases or pests into the wood of the tree. This also goes for broken branches, which should be carefully removed to allow the tree to direct all its energy to new growth.

You should also cut back twigs so that they only have between 3 and 4 nodes. Nodes are the joints that leaves grow out of, and there shouldn’t be over four of them on each branch. Simply make a clean cut over the remaining nodes with branch cutters.

For this type of pruning, you should of course do it all year round, but especially during the more active months for the bonsai trees. Typically spring and summer is the best time for this.

After your tree has been pruned, there is some aftercare you should consider as well.

Cover any cuts that come from pruning with wound paste. This will prevent too much sap from leaking out, and will help the cuts heal. Simply squeeze out a small amount of cream onto your gloved hand and spread lightly over the wound.

To promote new growth, water your bonsai tree immediately after pruning it as well. Water it deeply to fully moisten the soil. Typically you will want to regularly water your tree lightly once a day, and a little more deeply after pruning.

Lastly, apply a 7-7-7 fertilizer every two weeks while it is actively growing. If you have a smaller bonsai tree, use a liquid fertilizer, and use a granular fertilizer for larger trees. Either dilute the fertilizer to half strength, or use half as much as directed on the fertilizer packaging.

Our Final Thoughts

We hope you found our guide helpful in growing new bonsai trees. These trees are gorgeous, unique, and fairly easy to keep up with as long as your consistent. Have you ever grown one before? If not, what type of tree are you most excited to try out for your bonsai tree?

Japanese Maple

26 likes – View Post on Instagram Going to try my hand at #bonsai we have a #japanesemaple that deserves better so thought I may as well . Not my tree pictured by the way . #japaneseart #bonsaiart #japanesemaplebonsai #artofbonsai #bonsaimaster #bonsaitrees

One of the most adaptable outdoor bonsai trees, Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is a hardy yet beautiful deciduous tree with numerous cultivars that present a wealth of colorful fall foliage. This tree likes sunny spots, but will struggle with midday heat and might do well to be in light shade during those hours. Additionally, it is fairly frost hardy (though it should be protected from hard frost). The Japanese maple will benefit from leaf pruning every other year to keep leaf size small, and weekly low-nitrogen doses of bonsai fertilizer. It likes its soil to be well-watered, especially during the growing season.

Rock Cotoneaster

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Cotoneaster horizontalis, often called rock Cotoneaster or rockspray Cotoneaster (as it is popularly planted on rock in bonsai culture), is a great bonsai tree for beginners, or for anybody who might be intimidated by growing a bonsai. It features attractive leaf displays that change colors with the seasons; pretty white, pink, or red springtime blossoms; and bright red berries in the fall. In temperate growing zones, this low-growing shrub can be placed in full sun or part shade, but it does require protection from frost and extreme heat (though some cultivars will do better in hotter climates). It prefers dry soil, but don’t allow it to completely dry out. Cotoneaster tolerates wiring in the spring before blossoming.

Indian Laurel Fig

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A stunning tree specimen, Indian laurel fig, or Ficus retusa, is another variety that is great for beginners—it recovers readily from pruning mistakes (mistakes that might permanently stunt other types of bonsai trees). It is a fabulous indoor plant due to its tropical origins and preference for bright, indirect light. In temperate climates it can be planted outdoors in partial shade or even sun. It has shallow root systems, and its trunk can be sculpturally twisted, which lends itself nicely to many breathtaking bonsai styles.

Beech Tree

The common beech (Fagus sylvatica) has stunning autumn color on its naturally small leaves, the size of which are perfect for bonsai styling. The beech is a slow-growing tree that loves a bright outdoor location with no direct sunlight and moist but not wet soil. It may need to be brought inside during freezing temperatures in the winter. The beech can tolerate heavy pruning in spring, just after the new growth has hardened off, and will benefit from regular fertilizing in the spring and summer months.

Boxwood

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If you’re just starting out and aren’t feeling super confident yet on how to grow a bonsai tree, a common boxwood bonsai (Buxus sempervirens) may be just what you need. Infinitely easy to care for and adaptable, it thrives in a variety of conditions and temperatures but loves partial shade best. It only really needs protection from extreme cold. Keep soil moist but not soggy, and feed regularly with bonsai fertilizer. Boxwood is tolerant of aggressive pruning, and can be easily shaped with bonsai wire.

Pomegranate Tree

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One of the loveliest bonsai-friendly trees, the pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a deciduous semitropical tree of gorgeous aesthetic contrasts. Silvery aged bark mingles with bright green leaves and fiery red-orange fruiting blossoms. Eventually it may even bear fruit, which looks quite magical in bonsai form. Its shallow root system makes the pomegranate tree perfect for container planting. It can be kept outside in full sun, but bring it inside to a bright, sunny spot when temperatures drop below freezing.

Juniper

121 likes – View Post on Instagram A customer’s parson’s Juniper. Cleaning up and wiring. Pretty nice for a parson’s. #parsonsjuniperbonsai #bonsai #bonsaijuniper #juniper #juniperbonsai

With 70 different species, juniper is a popular type of bonsai tree due to its elegant form and adaptable growing habit. Some of the most popular juniper bonsai species are Japanese Garden Junipers (Juniperus procumbens nana), Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis), the Common Juniper (Juniperus communis), the California Juniper (Juniperus californica), and the Sierra Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis). These evergreen shrubs are best suited for outdoor life and need protection from hot afternoon sun, as well as frigid winter temperatures. Junipers also possess the potential for deadwood styling, which is when portions of the tree die off, leaving silvered trucks and branches amidst living foliage. This is found in nature when trees are twisted, gnarled, and bleached by the elements.

Weeping Fig

418 likes – View Post on Instagram I wonder how long it will take for my Ficus benjaminas to fuse via approach grafting method? . . . . #bonsaibylan #bonsai #bonsaitree #bonsais #bonsaiart #bonsaiartist #bonsaitrees #bonsailife #bonsailove #bonsailovers #bonsailover #indoorbonsai #indoorplants #indoorgarden #indoorgrown #ficus #ficusbenjamina #weepingfig #ficusbenjamin #groupopanting #foreststyle #fusiontree #ficusgbonsai #indoortree #tropicalplants #tropicaltrees #houseplants #figtree #fusionbonsai #approachgraft

Commonly called weeping fig or Benjamin ficus, Ficus benjamina is a versatile tree that does well as both an indoor or, in tropical climates, an outdoor bonsai. For anyone who has been daunted by how to grow bonsai plants, this is a perfect learning specimen. It features small, glossy evergreen leaves that, when left to their devices, will grow on long branches that trail to the ground (giving it the “weeping” nickname). Benjamina prefers six or more hours of sunlight a day, and needs its soil to be kept moist but not extremely wet. Its hardy nature and ability to recover from pruning accidents makes it an excellent choice for bonsai beginners.

This article originally appeared on www.bhg.com

How big does your jacaranda grow?

It’s that time of year when jacaranda trees are in full bloom and purple dots litter the landscape.

These trees usually grow up to around 15 metres, but there are some that have surpassed that.

The newly crowned largest jacaranda tree in Australia, located at Grafton in northern NSW, has been measured at 17-metres high.

The students at Grafton High School, in the city home to the annual Jacaranda Festival, nominated their tree to the National Register of Big Trees.

It knocked a Singleton tree, also 17-metres tall, which doubles as the Hunter Valley town’s Christmas tree, off the top spot.

The difference was in the crown and circumference sizes, with the Grafton tree scoring higher receiving 292 points to Singleton’s 257.

The trees are scored according to the formula used by American Forests.

The Clarence Valley tree had a circumference of 5.5 metres and crown of 25 metres, compared to Singleton’s 4.5 metres and 30 metres.

But could there be other contenders for the largest jacaranda tree in all of the land?

There possibly might be one an hour north of Grafton on a beef cattle property at Tabulam.

Jan Mills says there are at least half a dozen in the house paddock, one nearly 90 years old.

Mrs Mary Mills planted two jacarandas on ‘Muirton’ in the early 1920s.

They just look spectacular at this time of year, you can see them from the road and everybody comments on them.

Jan Mills, beef producer, Tabulam

“My husband’s mother planted two, scrawny little trees apparently, at the same time as the ones in Tabulam,” she said.

One was struck by lightning a number of years ago, but Jan describes the remaining tree as “immense”.

She just isn’t sure how tall it is, but has recorded its girth at 3.2 metres.

“They just look spectacular at this time of year. You can see them from the road and everybody comments on them,” she said.

Jan doesn’t think the jacaranda trees on the property will stop growing either.

“It’s quite good red soil around where they’re growing, and it goes down a long way so I think they must like that,” she said.

Will more claims to the title of Australia’s Champion Jacaranda Tree start coming out of the woodwork?

Jacaranda Maturity – Knowledgebase Question

Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)
Posted by Kelli
In short, I’d guess 5 years for significant shade, 20 years to maturity, and they should/could flower anytime. Let me explain.
Questions about how fast trees grow are tough because there are so many variables. Based on my experience, I’d place Jacaranda trees in the “medium to fast” growth rate range. Therefore I’m guessing they’ll be large enough to cast significant shade in 5 years or so. “Mature” is another matter. Since jacaranda trees can live to be 50 to 75 years old (confession: another guess) and anywhere between 30 and 50 feet high, I’d allow the trees 20 years, plus or minus, before considering them mature.
Will they flower this year? Most jacaranda trees have flowered by now, that is, by April. On the other hand, many are propagated by seed so they show natural variability: A few flower in summer, and some even in fall. I’ve seen jacaranda’s in their nursery containers flower so age and size are not determining factors.
The only way to know for sure when yours flower is by seeing them in flower and noting the month or season. The only way to know for sure how much they flower is again, by seeing it.
I wish the answers could be more precise, but I hope this helps.

A jacaranda in full bloom looks like a giant ruffled crinoline of the kind Scarlett O’Hara’s cousin might have worn to the ball. The sight of these giant skirts forming a cotillion of purple around the harbour never fails to lift my spirits. Sadly for some Sydneysiders, seeing a jacaranda in full flower brings nothing but sweaty palms and a racing heart. The jac-fest coincides with exam time so for some, those purple domes will forever be associated with a sinking feeling of being not quite prepared. Though this may shift: research from climate change watchers suggests jacaranda blooming is shifting forwards. It may soon signal the football grand final rather than education’s grand finale.

These natives of South America look magnificent paired against the golden combs of the native silky oak, Grevillea robusta, or the striking scarlet buds and blooms of the Illawarra flame tree, Brachychiton acerifolius. Flame trees and jacarandas both flower on bare wood, having dropped their leaves in early spring, and this accentuates the colour shock. The bad news: you need plenty of space to create painterly effects with these trees. Jacarandas will develop a crown of 10-15 metres wide and a height about the same. That makes them the wrong choice for a small backyard. A fence-side planting is unlikely to impress the neighbours. In 2011 a woman took her neighbour to the Land and Environment Court complaining that the overhanging branches of his jacaranda were ruining her washing. The court ultimately ruled that birds rather than the tree caused the stains on her laundry but neighbourly relations can’t have survived as happily as the tree did.

Painterly effects: Jacaranda trees flower for just a few weeks in early November. Credit:Dallas Kilponen

For most urban gardeners, jacarandas are best enjoyed beyond the home garden. Hunters Hill offers especially good viewing from the water. On land, Paddington and Balmain do a lovely line in purple-fringed Victoriana and the leafy north shore colours purple in November. (That northern lilac haze has often been credited to a nursing matron at the Mater Hospital in Crows Nest, who is said to have handed out jacaranda seedlings with babies. This fabulous story sadly has no evidence to support it.)

If you do have room for a jacaranda, bequeath to future generations a wonderful shape by careful positioning (backlit in early morning or late afternoon is particularly photogenic) and judicious early pruning. Every three years for the first 15, cut any competing trunks at the base, to maintain a single trunk. Thin the canopy to develop stronger branches, removing crossing branches and those at odd angles, but never removing more than 20 per cent of the growth. Cut just outside the branch collar and only ever in the dead of winter. Bad pruning results in ugly vertical growth, which will be in dispiriting view wherever jacarandas have lost the argument with electricity company hackers.

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