There are many reasons to have a tree in your garden. Trees give shade, they provide color, they are a reminder of the majesty of the natural world. Sometimes, they simply provide something to talk about. While those of us who garden, almost always regard trees as worthy of conversation, here are five trees that are especially unique. If you bring a newcomer into your garden, these are almost always going to be a focal point of some part of your conversation.
Queensland Bottle Tree, Brachychiton rupestris – a native of Australia, the bottle tree is named for the shape its trunk achieves as it matures. Developed in a land that sometimes has abundant water, and sometimes does not, the bottle tree stores reserves in its trunk, giving it a shape not unlike a classic glass wine bottle. The white bark is attractive, and both bees and birds love it. In times of drought it can even be used as forage for larger creatures.
Perhaps because of its amazing usefulness, bottle trees are now protected in the wild. We have our own plantation where we grow these majestic beauties.
Tree Aloe: Aloidendron barberae – Most people are aware of the succulent, Aloe, that is much loved by cooks everywhere because its sap is a sovereign first aid for burns. Imagine having a tree that instead of having leaves, has every branch topped with a waving nest of what looks like the aloe vera that grows in the pot in you kitchen. Discovered independently by Mary Elizabeth Barber, and by Thomas Baines, Mary Barber was given precedence for having discovered it first. Easy to grow in most moderately warm climates, it isn’t especially picky about soil, but it does need protection from frost. Small specimens can be grown in containers. In its native habitat, it is pollinated by sunbirds, but is also loved by a wide variety of birds and bees.
Dragon Tree: Dracaena draco – Oh, who has not admired pictures of dragon trees! Imagine how much more impressive they must be close up and personal, especially in your own garden. The oldest dragon trees have composite trunks and dense branches that grow in a tight umbrella shape. As a garden focal point, you would be hard pressed to find a lovelier tree. In areas where the weather is too cold, small dragon trees can be grown in containers. Dracaena draco is mentioned in mythology, and has a beautiful red sap that makes a magnificent finish for furniture and musical instruments.
Glauca Grass Trees: Xanthorrhoea glauca – Tall, strange shapes that almost look like a man holding a spear, there can scarcely be a more attractive tree than the Xanthorrhoea Glauca Grass tree. Fire resistant, and useful in nearly every part, you will have no trouble finding something to talk about with this tree in your garden. It is especially beautiful when the tall bloom spike is covered with waxy white blossoms that draw bees and birds to feast at this natural cornucopia.
Yucca Filifera: Yucca Filifera – No doubt you’ve seen those tall, spikey ground hugging plants with their curly little fibers coming off the edges of the leaves. Now, imagine a tree with one of those at the top of every limb. They are not quite like a dragon tree, which in its younger stages can have a similar appearance. But they do have a striking appearance as they lift their limbs to the sky. Yucca Filifera are from Mexico, where they are challenged with both heat and cold. This means that they are a hardy tree, and can grow across a wide range of zones.
Beautiful trees in your garden lift your eye upward toward the skies. What you see there will depend upon who you are and what you seek. But the chances are with these useful and beautiful trees growing near your home, you will see birds, bees and other nectar loving creatures come to feast on the bounty.
Trees are also habitat for many wild creatures. A single tree is a habitat. A yard or woodlot is an ecology. With trees in your back or front yard, you will never run short of things to look at or things to talk about.
We are ready to help you select the perfect tree for your backyard. We are certified growers, and have many years of experience and expertise that we are glad to lend to help you discover the very best trees to look at and discuss with friends and family for years to come.