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  • Writer's picturePiet Stoker (PhD)

Tree of the year 2018

2018 tree of the year is Yellowwood. This year is different in that there are actually 4 "trees of the year" I show the difference between them and briefly discuss their main attributes.

Yellow wood species. Real, Outeniqua, Breede river and Henkel's yellowwood

In the picture from left to right:

  • Real Yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius)

  • Outeniqua Yellowwood (Podocarpus falcatus recently re-named as Afrocarpus falcatus).

  • Breede River Yellowwood (Podocarpus elongatus)

  • Drooping-leaved Yellowwood also known as Henkel's Yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelii, recently re-named Afrocarpus henkelii)

All Yelowwood species are evergreen. They have attactive bark, grow at a moderate rate and are one of the least messy trees. A good choice for the larger garden.

Real Yellowwood.

Real Yellowwood has a relative non-aggressive root system. The tree withstands cold but is somewhat frost sensitive. We took the picture below on one of our hiking trips in the Drakensberg.

Real Yellowwood, Podocarpus latifolius

Outeniqua Yellowwood

The forest giants in Dalene Mathee's book "Kringe in die Bos" are Outeniqua yellowwoods. The tree has an aggressive root system. In a forest habitat they can become very large, but it takes several hundred years! We took the picture below on a hiking trip in the Knysna forest. Magnificent! Outeniqua Yellowwood withstands moderate frost.

Podocarpus falcatus | Afrocarpus falcatus | Outeniqua Yellowwood

Breede River Yellowwood

As the name suggests, Breede River Yellowwood grows naturally in a the Western Cape. We have not been privileged to photograph this species in its natural habitat. It has a neat, compact growth form. The tree is moderately frost resistant. In my view this species is the most beautiful of all Yellowwoods.

Breede River Yellowwood. Podocarpus latifolius

Drooping-leaved Yellowwood

It is evident from the first picture why this species is called the Drooping-leaved Yellowwood. It is a slow grower. This species can withstand severe frost. In our experience it has a relative non-aggressive root system.

Find more information and pictures of the Yellowwood family on our website:

Joyful gardening!

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