Germinating and Growing

Common African Indigenous Trees

 

 

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Sausage Tree

Kigelia africana
 

 

 

 

 

1/ Sow fresh seed in September for the best results. Place the seeds in seedling trays filled with pure river sand. Press the seed into the sand until the tip is level with the sand and cover lightly with a thin layer of sand or pure compost and keep moist. Seeds usually germinate after 10-25 days. The sausage tree is not frost-resistant but if young plants are protected for the first 2-3 years from cold winds in the colder areas, they will survive. The growth rate is at least 1 m per year but it is slower in colder areas. This is a protected tree in South Africa.

 

 

2/ The tree is easily propagated from fresh seed sown in river sand in September, or from truncheons. Protect young plants from frost. Plant in full sun, add lots of compost and mulch well. Water moderately. It is relatively pest-free.

 

Fast-growing and frost-tender, this tree has a rather invasive root system, so keep it clear of buildings, paving, pools, etc. Position it with care - a falling fruit can severely damage a parked vehicle! Despite this, it is said to be a popular shade and street tree in tropical Africa and Australia. Plant alongside rivers and dams on farms and game farms. It is also suitable for large estates and municipal parks. It tolerates temperatures ranging from about 4C to 40C.

 

 

3/ The seed is parasitised in the veld by insects that make small holes in the exocarps. Sound seeds germinate well and should preferably be sown in September while still fresh, as they are viavle for one season only. To obtain seeds, dry the fruit and pound. Germination period is 1-2 weeks. The tree grows fairly slowly. Young plants are very sensitive to the slightest frost. When transplanted it should be planted into a large, well-composted, deep hole. Lots of mulch and grass are recommended for increased water retention. It needs a lot of water initially but, later, fortnightly watering is sufficient. The tree grows straight up and develops branches only after some years. It is a very rewarding species to cultivate.

 

 

 

 

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