December is fast approaching and the Christmas feeling is already in the air. Why decorate the same old way with that same old plastic tree?
There are some trees and shrubs that can substitute as a Christmas tree and once Christmas is over, it can be planted in your garden, or it can be kept in it’s pot ready for next year’s use. You can even take the DIY one step further by using seed pods and other organic material to make decorations. Get creative with paint, glitter, beads and other fun things and paint those cones and seed pods that you pick up around your garden!
Not only will you be saving the planet by reducing the use of plastic but you can also save money!
There are some Indigenous Tree Species that would make lovely Christmas Trees. These include:
The Yellowwood Tree (Podocarpus Henkelli)
This tree is often considered to be South Africa’s National Tree – it has glossy, dense, drooping leaves and a neat canopy. The branches are strong enough to hold decorations and the tree doesn’t grow very fast, so you should be able to use it as a Christmas Tree for many years. In a natural habitat the tree can reach between 20 and 30m in height, but it will be just fine in a container as well.
Outeniqua Yellowwood (Podocarpus Falcatus)
When young, this evergreen tree has the traditional conical Christmas Tree shape and can permanently be kept in a container due to its slow growing properties. In a natural habitat, the tree can reach up to 12m.
Real Yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius)
This is an evergreen, frost hardy tree with blue-green foliage that can be grown and kept in a container for many years.
Cape Gardenia (Rothmania Capensis)
This is one of the most attractive indigenous evergreens that has glossy dark green leaves and flowers from December to February.
Cheesewood (Pittosporum Viridiflorum)
This tree only reaches about 7 metres in height which makes it great for a small garden or container. It is frost hardy and has glossy dark green leaves that forms a neat canopy.
Blue Guarrie (Euclea Crispa)
This member of the Ebony Family is a neat, upright tree with a dense round canopy of dark bluish green leaves. It has a rusty to dark brown bark, often covered in lichen. This evergreen tree is ideal for smaller gardens and provides shade all year round because of its frost hardy and wind resistant properties. In summer, the sweet fragrance of the yellow bell-shaped flowers attracts butterflies and beautiful birds.
Mountain Cedar (Widringtonia Nodiflora)
This tree canopy is conically shaped with needle-like leaves – it looks the most like a traditional Christmas Tree. The tree is frost and drought resistant which makes it more likely to thrive in our tempestuous South African Weather conditions.