The Beefwood originates from Eastern Australia and have been planted in South Africa for more than a century. They unfortunately have become a huge problem in the Western Cape, Kwazulu Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces. This tree resembles a Pine tree with its upright growth reaching a height of approximately 30 metres.
Beefwood trees carry needles as well as cones that disperse its seeds to form dense stands of saplings around the “mother plant”.
These stands can reduce water flow of rivers when they grow along water courses. Therefore, “water hungry” is a good description for the Beefwood.
We would strongly recommend eradication of this tree from suburban gardens. Good replacement trees are the various South African Yellowwoods. Consider the Common Yellowwood – Podocarpus latifolius or Outeniqua Yellowwood – Podocarpus Falcatus.
Both are still slender growing trees. If your garden is on the smaller side, consider Henkels Yellowwood – Podocarpus Henkeli, as it is slower growing and only reaches about a third of the height of the other trees.