Germinating and Growing

Common African Indigenous Trees

 

 

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Camel Thorn

Acacia erioloba
 

 

1/ Seed is frequently destroyed by beetles and other insects but sound seed is easily obtainable. Seed must be soaked in boiled water and left overnight. The next morning, place it on river sand and cover lightly with sand. Germination tends to be erratic. Seedlings should be planted out when they are no taller than 40 mm. Later the long taproot makes it difficult to transplant. Trees coppice and sucker freely. A relatively slow grower with a growth rate between 300 and 500 mm per year. Well adapted to very dry and heavy frost conditions. It is a protected tree in South Africa.

 

 

2/ Acacia erioloba can be propagated easily by seeds. The seeds generally need some treatment to weaken the protective waterproof seed coat. They can be put into boiling water and then left to soak for a couple of days until the seed swells. Alternatively the glossy coating can be lightly sanded before soaking. Seeds may then be sown in a well-composted, sandy seedling mixture, and kept in a warm and moist positon. Seeds usually take four to six weeks to germinate. It is also possible to propagate it with semi-hardwood cuttings, but this is not a commonly used method. Trees start to flower when about 10 years old.

 

 

3/ Pour boiling water over the seeds and soak for 24 hours. When dry, plant 2cm deep. Germination is often poor and farmers claim that the seed needs to go through the digestive tract of a herbivore and then be planted with the faeces in which it was found. They are slow-growing, developing long tap roots when young, which makes transplantation difficult. The saplings should be planted in an open locality and sufficient water should be provided during the first few months.


 

 

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This web page was last updated on: 07 August, 2012