Sclerocarya birrea | Marula trees for sale | Maroela boom
Marula withstands light frost and is moderately drought tolerant. It is a deciduous tree growing medium-fast. Sclerocarya birrea has grey-green once compound leaves, a neat, upright growth form and a striking grey-and-whitish spotted trunk. It bears male and female flowers on separate trees and only female trees grow fruit. In our experience, when Sclerocarya birrea is grown from seeds, they reach sexual maturity after about 6 years. Only then is it possible to tell male and female trees apart.
Some gardning ideas
Marula provides deep shade in summer and is recommended for the larger garden. It responds well to pruning. Screrocarya birrea's root system is not overly aggressive. Plant this beautiful tree in a large container to bring a true “game park” atmosphere to a very small garden.
Value to honeybees: Nectar, N1-3; Pollen, P0-3; Flowering months 8-11, (9-10). (See blog-post "The bee-value of South Africa's trees" for an explanation of codes)
For more information on mature Marula trees' size and shape, as well as its pot planting and bonsai potential click here
For more information on this species go to PlantZAfrica Sclerocarya birrea, Marula, Maroela boom
Currently only available in 50L
Sclerocarya birrea (Marula) in 50L for sale.
Recommended retail price-50L
Marula tree mature size and shape
Please refer to image#1, which we recently took in the Kruger National Park. It shows the typical size and shape of the species. We estimate the height of this mature specimen at about 12m, and its crown at about 15m.
Image2 shows one of KNP's giant Marulas. We are privileged to have taken this photo on our Wolhuter trail in November 2020. Our field guide recorded it as a candidate for KNP's iconic specimens, so we know that is an exceptionally large Marula. We estimate its height and diameter to be about 17m and 30m respectively.
Image3 shows a "size and shape" icon, which we propose for Sclerocarya birrea. We classify Marula's crown form as "bean-like", its trunk as "upright" and its primary branch structure as "spreading". The size of the Marula tree icon, when measured against a 1.8m tall person, is about 10m high and 12m diameter. We estimate that this is a typical size and shape that one can expect a Marula tree to achieve in a garden setting with ideal soil and water availability. It will reach this size in about 30 years.
Can a Marula tree grow in a pot? Can it be trained as a bonsai?
Images 4, 5 and 6, all taken in the Kruger National Park, show what we refer to as African Bonsai Trees (#Africanbonsaitrees), in this case a Marula African Bonsai. These naturally scaped bonsai forms were mostly created by elephant activity in the park. However soil availability and condition, antelope browsing, fire and drought all played their part. These examples may not follow the artistic principles of traditional bonsai trees, but they are truly African. It is this rugged beauty, sculptured by nature, that we want to capture in our "African Bonsai Trees" brand.
We learn from the above images that Marula trees, apart from being very hardy, survives severely inflicted damage. This indicates that the species is a good candidate for growing in a pot and also as a bonsai.
Image 7 shows a Marula tree in a pot that we are currently training into a Marula African Bonsai (#Marulaafricanbonsai). The African Bonsai Tree concept in this case, is to grow it into the iconic Marula tree's size and shape, with tree height not exceeding 1.2m. We hope to achieve this mature size limit by growing it in a 100L pot.
It follows that even if you have a very small garden, you can still enjoy the beauty of a Marula tree.
Image#7 To follow