Monday, August 17, 2009

Tamarix (Tamaricaceae) Tamarisk

Tamarisk can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees. Mild areas produce trees that are very wind-resistant and therefore they are often used as barrier hedges in exposed coastal areas. They like a sunny position in well drained fertile soil; where they produce abundant racemes of small pink or white flowers in the summer.

Spring time is the optimum time to prune trees and hedges, and it is then that the new growth of purple stems contrasting with the blue grey foliage gives a second season of interest. Semi ripe cuttings are easy to propagate.

Here in northern Catalunya farmland which has been reclaimed from marshland is rich and fertile and produces apples, peaches and pears in profusion. The farmland extends down to the beaches of the Costa Brava and is subject to high winds; it is the Tamarisk which is used to separate the agricultural land from the Mediterranean sand carried by the wind. Anybody who has used the campsites around the coastal region will have sheltered behind the Tamarisk tree.

In some parts of the USA the Tamarisk has become an invasive species and is weeded out of the native forests.

I have seen fine examples of a specimen tree and will try to add a photograph to this entry.

3 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I'm looking to propagate about 30 tamarisk trees (summer flowering variety). I live near you. when would be best time to take the cuttings - May? How easy are they to root and how long do you think they would take to reach about 1m in height?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts

    David

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  2. Anonymous2:42 pm

    Hi, my name is Anne,

    I have discovered that I have a tamarisk tree in my garden and would like to know how I would propagate this (step by step because I am not a gardener) I live in Southern Ontario, Canada and would like to be able to share this tree with my family and friend.

    Thanks,

    Anne

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  3. Hi - The late winter spell we have here has meant that this years foliage growth has been delayed though now the trees are starting to colour up. This is a great time to propagate the tamarisk (May)
    I will try and photograph the steps required to take cuttings, for you Anne.

    Seb the small tree I have was a rooted cutting at the time of posting and today is only 12" high but looking well. Idid not improve the soil prior to planting having seen them thriving in quite poor marginal land around the coast. Though today I have transplanted the young to a better situation.

    Cuttings are fairly easy to root, and once established and should reach 1 meter in two years, though a slender looking specimen.

    As a hedge or windbreak up to 3 metres high the plants seem quite effective.

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