Nothing says Christmas in south-east Queensland like poincianas
If red and green are the colours of Christmas, then you are onto a Christmas winner with a poincianca tree!
These are not native trees, but they have become very familiar and beloved to us here in south-east Queensland. The poinciana – or Delonixregia to use its Latin name – is actually a native of far-away Madagascar, but we have adopted this beautiful, showy flowering tree as our very own.
Poincianas peak in their ostentatious show of scarlet red flowers through late spring and early summer – that is right now, as Christmas draws near.
In years past it was planted as a street tree, so many of Brisbane’s established suburbs are now enjoying the spectacle of multiple poincianas in full bloom.
Easy to care for, easy to love
This summer beauty can grow up to 15 metres in height, but more commonly will only reach a more manageable 3 to 5 metres. It delivers a large, sprawling canopy that can also achieve 15 metres in diameter and will create ample shade. Yet another reason to love a poinciana in the summer! It adores our frost-free climate and will thrive when young if it is in full sun – so if you are planting, be sure to give your tree plenty of space.
You should also take care to prune it when it is young. Take out any lower weak branches to encourage the higher stronger ones, and be sure to do your pruning in winter before new growth emerges. Give a young tree dolomite in autumn and then after six weeks some phosphate fertiliser, and you should be rewarded with lots of flowers.
Grow from seed
Poincianca trees produce attractive long woody seed pods that look like brown beans. You can grow the tree from the seeds in these pods. But be patient – from seed to flowering maturity will take around 10 years.
This tree requires a reasonably high soil pH of 6.5 to 7, especially at the establishment stage.
Tree pruning for poincianas
AllRound Tree Services will help you coax your poinciana tree into its maximal potential. Contact us today for advice about caring for your tree or for pruning services.