City Trees

November/December 2019

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Page 38 of 39

Tree of Merit: Ivory Curl (Buckinghamia celsissima) One of Brisbane, Australia's top-f ive most commonly planted street trees, ivor y curl (Buckinghamia cel- sissima), is a small- to medium-sized tree per fect for planting under power lines or in conf ined growing spaces. It has a densely rounded crown with ver y small wooden capsules as seed pods. In its native environ- ment (the rainforests of nor thern Queensland), the tree can grow up to 25m (82 feet) but within urban areas it is not known to grow over 8m (26 feet). Ivor y curl is related to the Queensland nut (Macadamia integrifolia), detectable in the similarit y of the f lowers. The extremely show y creamy white tubular f lowers in ter- minal racemes are a prized feature of ivor y curl, as they densely cover the crown in summer for a minimum of four weeks and are 10 -20 cm (4-8 inches) in leng th. They are at tractive to bees and but ter f lies. If planted in an ave- nue, the trees give a stunning ef fect when in f lower. Ivor y curl is initially a slow grower but makes up for it beginning 5-7 years af ter planting. The tree is low maintenance and rarely requires pruning except of minor deadwood for public safet y. It can withstand compacted and low-nutrient soils; however, in the long term this will reduce the size that the tree will grow, resulting in a smaller tree which does however work well for high-densit y urban areas under power lines. All of these at tributes make this tree an all- around winner for cities in tropical and sub- tropical climates around the world. by Sitara Gare, Arboriculture Coordinator, Brisbane City Council, Australia Sitara Gare is an Arboriculture Coordinator for Brisbane City Council, Australia's largest munici- pal council. Her arboricul- ture passions lie in educat- ing the public about all the benefits of trees. 39 Older specimen in a residential yard. Photos on this page by Simon Schubert of Foliage closeup. Foliage and flowers.

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