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Tree Lucerne

If you were going to make a list of trees that were the most versatile with more uses than you could poke a stick at, then Tree Lucerne would certainly be in your Top 5.
Gerard
 2 comments
Published on
Originally from the Canary Islands off the coast of North West Africa, Tree Lucerne
(also known as Tagasaste) is a very hardy plant, used to dry and windy salty conditions
but also tolerates quite hard frosts and a wide range of soil types.

It has an impressive portfolio of uses:

As a food source - it's quick and easy to grow reaching 4 to 5 metres in height
within 3 years from sowing. By the second winter, it will be smothered
in an abundance of white fragrant flowers when few other nectar flowers are in bloom.
Tui, Kereru (native wood pigeon) and honey bees will seek them out to feed...

Wood Pigeon

Thorn-less drooping branches have a high protein leaf that horses and cattle
find very palatable and easy to reach. Otherwise, offer them freshly cut young branches
over the fence rather than let them strip the trees.
As a low level wind break, it's a nursery tree for emerging younger trees
needing some protection. It's a supply of hot burning firewood
and a leguminous tree that will put nitrogen back into the soil naturally.

Tree Lucerne Branches

An occasional trim does them no harm as they’re quick to regrow and will come
back bushier than before. Tree Lucerne will grow from a semi-hardwood cutting
in spring and autumn but are even easier to propagate from seed.
The small black seed has quite a hard coat so to get it to germinate quicker,
lightly scuff one end with a piece of sandpaper or carefully nick it with a sharp knife.
This will help moisture get the germ inside each seed to swell and break out
and the seed will germinate more evenly.
Seedlings usually take between 3 and 5 weeks to emerge,
sometimes quicker and sometimes longer.

Tree Lucerne Flowers

Tree Lucerne prefers not to have its root disturbed so when transplanting from trays
into pots or pots into the ground it's best to thoroughly moisten the root ball
and try to keep it intact rather than allowing the roots to be exposed to air or dryness.
It can be planted as close as 1 metre apart for a quick growing solid hedge,
but ideally 2 metres between plants is better.

Once established and left undisturbed, it will happily reseed
to give you an ongoing stand of trees that nature can enjoy and benefit from.
 
Your search is over with Tree Lucerne, it does it all!
Gerard
 2 comments
Published on

2 Comments

Tara says ...
Its grown well from seed for me. I'm just trying to plant them out without them being eaten by the local wildlife
Treeman says ...
Hot water treatment also helps start the seeds off. Pour boiling water into a jar of seeds, then repeat an hour later, sow 24 hours later when the seeds swell. A brilliant tree!

Oh dear!

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