Growing Coral Trees In The Yard

Growing Coral Trees In The Yard

Coral trees are tropical, deciduous ornamentals often used for shade but really prized for their coral-red flowers that coat the bare branches in spring. These trees are cultivated for a variety of purposes such as shade, natural fences and wind barriers. Parts of the coral tree are also used medicinally in certain cultures. The native habitat of the coral tree includes eastern Africa, India, islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Southeast Asia, and southern China in warmer areas. It can be found growing in cultivation all over the parts of the world with tropical climates. It does not usually survive in areas where there is any frost. It prefers a climate with a dry winter and rainy summer, but it can tolerate a range of tropical humid climates. It prefers sandy soil and lower elevations with lots of sun, but will grow in a variety of conditions. Some species of coral tree can grow as tall as 80 feet (24 m), but a height ranging between 33 to 66 feet (10 to 20 m) is more typical, and they tend to spread out near the top.

The bark is usually grayish and in many species the branches have black spines that resemble tiger claws. The leaves are usually large, green, and come in a variety of different shapes. The trees are deciduous and leaves fall off during the dry winter season. Flowering usually occurs in late winter or early spring before the leaves return and the flowers often grow in large, showy clusters with brilliant colors, the most common being bright red or reddish orange. The seeds most often grow in colorful long pods located just below the flowers and are often poisonous.

Coral Tree In The Yard

Coral Tree In The Yard

The coral tree is an amazing tropical plant that is a member of the legume family, Fabaceae. It may be spiny or smooth, deciduous or evergreen, with a spectacle of a flower in brilliant pink, red or orange hues.

Outdoor Garden With Coral Tree

Outdoor Garden With Coral Tree

Coral trees are members of the genus Erythrina and are primarily found in South Africa and South America.

Flowering Red Coral Tree

Flowering Red Coral Tree

Coral tree care is easy if you are in the correct region, but some growers may find them messy.

Coral Tree In The Outdoor Yard

Coral Tree In The Outdoor Yard

Growing coral trees is only appropriate outdoors in USDA zones 9 and up.

Backyard Garden With Coral Tree

Backyard Garden With Coral Tree

The coral tree is often planted for utility as well as for beauty. They are frequently used to construct living fences, or hedges, and wind barriers in populated areas.

Front Yard With Coral Tree

Front Yard With Coral Tree

Coral trees need very little water. Too much water actually promotes a weak limb structure and subsequent breakage. Overwatering causes the tree to grow too quickly, and its soft wood cannot support such spurts. Then in the dry season, the weight of the tree can actually pull it out of the soil.

Coral Tree In The Garden

Coral Tree In The Garden

The trees have a thick trunk, usually with several smaller trunks joining the main stem. Roots push out of the ground as they age and may become a hazard. The bark is a thin grayish brown and the wood is pithy and weak, prone to breaking in the wind or due to overwatering.

Outdoor Garden With Flowering Coral Tree

Outdoor Garden With Flowering Coral Tree

Exotic plants like the coral tree lend unique interest to the warm region landscape.

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