City Trees

January/February 2023

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Page 38 of 39

Despite being an exotic tree for our country (Chile), the natural grace of its crown and its large fra- grant, violet-blue flowers make it one of the favorite species to plant along the streets and avenues of Santiago. Nowadays it is quite common to see young specimens adorning the city and, together with the OmbĂș (Phytolacca dioica), jacaranda con- stitutes a wonderful representative of the tropical and subtropical regions of South America. In Chile, jacaranda is recommended for planting from the Arica and Parinacota Region, to the Metropolitan Region, in the center of the country. It should be taken into account that its canopy provides a modest amount of shade and that, according to some authors, the species does not resist wind well. In general, in our country the jacaranda does not suffer from the presence of many pests and diseases, except for the flowers and buds, which are usually attacked by aphids that do not cause major damage. The semi-persistent foliage of the species behaves as deciduous in the Metropolitan Region, due to low winter temperatures. In addition, young specimens can be seriously affected by frost. As the wood of jacaranda can be slow to lignify, and the tree can be prone to wind damage, it is often advisable to stake newly planted trees. It is not recommended to plant it along bicycle paths, since its fruits could affect mobility. Apart from that, it can be used along streets and avenues with low vehicular flow and reasonable above- and below-ground planting space and, of course, in parks, squares, and gardens. To obtain abundant flowering, it is recommended to plant in places with direct exposure to the sun, most of the day. In arid parts of Chile, jacaranda is not very resis- tant to drought, so it is necessary to water it in its establishment stage, as well as in areas and times with low natural rainfall. This requirement could be affecting the young specimens planted in central Chile, which is currently suffering from a severe mega-drought due to climate change. However, its spectacular violet-blue flowering, which floods the urban landscape with a soft aroma and color in Chilean spring until early summer (September to December), and its elegant natural appearance and fine foliage put the jacaranda on the podium of the most attractive trees currently planted in our country. Photos on this page by Stephanie Carrie @treesofla 39 Who could doubt the beauty of the jacaranda?

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