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Tetradium Daniellii - Bee Bee Tree  RSS feed

 
Posts: 176
Location: springfield, MO
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Is any one growing this tree? It sounds like it may be good forage for bees when most other things are done in late summer. Does any one know if this tree fixes nitrogen?



 
steward
Posts: 1191
Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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Interesting that it is in the same plant family as citrus. Wonder what the honey tastes like.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Where'd you get the data? Looks like an interesting database.
 
Peter Hartman
Posts: 176
Location: springfield, MO
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Posts: 212
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Hi, here's a late reply.

Tetradium Daniellii is also called Evodia hupehensis, you might find more info under that name in Google searches.

We have 15 young trees growing at our farm. The eldest is in its 5th vegetation and will, I believe, flower this year. I do hope everything works out as advertised for the bees. Presumably it is a *very* good provider of nectar and polen, not just covering the hungry gap but actually allowing honey collection (provided of course that you have a sufficient stand of those trees vs. the number of your beehives).

It is not critical to provide permanent moisture, the tree can take some drought. We've had two and a half months without rain in 2015 (Z6 continental climate) and I watered them maybe twice during that time. They are however all heavily mulched with grass clippings.

As the text says, no particular disease / insect problems. It also does not seem to be a vole favorite.

It does not, to my knowledge, fix nitrogen.

It grows easily from seed which is usually readily available on Ebay. It is a good idea to keep the seedlings in a frost-free place during their first winter.

I've seen an about 6 m (about 20 ft) tall specimen in a nursery in Austria. It was... impressive

There's a beekeeper / nursery man in Germany who has dedicated at lot of time to this tree, here's a page on his site with further info: http://www.immengarten-jaesch.de/Insektenfreundliche_Pflanzen.html - he also carries some special supposedly early- and late- flowering varieties, stretching into June / September (in Z6 or 7). I've ordered some but they are still very young so I can't provide any practical confirmation yet.

I very much hope I will be able to post photos of flowers in July.
 
Peter Hartman
Posts: 176
Location: springfield, MO
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Thanks for the update. I will keep an eye on this thread. I hope to see some flowering pictures in a few months.
 
Posts: 123
Location: West Iowa
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Another positive seems to be that deer don't like browsing on its stinky leaves, at least the deer around me.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 212
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Our evodia trees took a direct hit from a late frost during the last week of April... But it seems that all of them will recover. Not sure about having any flowers this year though.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 212
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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A year later - this year - we were again struck by a late frost in late April which came on top of the entire month January being sub-zero which is unusual. (Cold spells even down to -20 C are normal but not an entire month.)

It was probably the freezing January that did the most damage. It froze a 7-year Violetta (English Brown turkey) fig to the ground and half of the young evoidas got rebooted as well. Most (sadly not all) seem to be coming back but if these weather surprises keep happening they're not going to get anywhere anytime soon.

So I would call this a sensitive plant in Z6, at least the first 3 years or so (better to err on the high side).
 
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Thanks for that information about the cold. I live in a temperate Mediterranean type climate here in Australia.
We don't get a huge amount of frosts but it has been very much cooler than usual this last year.
I will probably use straw bales to protect the trees for the first few years. First I just have to find the seeds or trees out here.
Very very strict quarantine on plants out here but for our own safety. Appreciate the information Crt Jakhel.
 
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The original poster asked about N fixation.  This won't & indeed nothing in the citrus family will do that.  Most legumes (but only a few caesalpinoid ones), all oleasters (Elaeagnus, Shepherdia, and Hippophae), alders, and bayberries (Myrica, Morella--aromatic shrubs), and a very few members of the rose family (& some obscure tropical plants) will do so on N-limited soils.  (Azolla will do so on water, using cyanobacteria.  (Some?) cycads and all Gunnera also use cyanobacteria to do this, but usually in terra firma.  Cyanobacteria produce a dangerous, nonprotein amino acid that leads to Parkinsonism, so don't eat plants that use the cyanobacteria route, nor animals that forage on them.  Azolla is a good wetland fertilizer generator though.)
      That doesn't make the tree worthless, you just need to decide if it is adapted & if its primary, insectary (bee forage), function justifies the space it will consume.  On large yards, this is probable.  In urban microplots, probably not.  And, you can support honeybees and similar moderate-tongued pollinators fairly well over quite a long season merely by using white clover as a groundcover (where it is adapted), reserving the vertical space in the garden more for human food, timber (but not dense since clover is a meadow not forest plant), etc.  White clover will drop very little biomass, but will fix some nitrogen and help support many types of livestock also.  Most of your "crop" plants can coexist with or outcompete it, whereas many fertilizer trees (like black locust, mimosa...) will take over if you neglect them for even a short time.  Some, like broom, may well add nitrogen, but also literally poison neighboring plants (allelopathy).

Another question for those North Americans familiar with this plant: will our Giant Swallowtails (Papilio cresphontes) use it as a host plant (caterpillar food)?  Butterflies don't feed me, but they are nice.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 212
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Crt Jakhel wrote:A year later - this year - we were again struck by a late frost in late April which came on top of the entire month January being sub-zero which is unusual. (Cold spells even down to -20 C are normal but not an entire month.)



The next winter (the one just ended) was even more creative - a whole month of January at a daily max of 15 C = 60 F followed by spikes of -19 C = -2 F in February.

However, it seems that this year evodia might have actually made it. It looks like there are some flower buds developing after a loooong wait.


 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 212
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Yes, it finally happened. We had flowers and now seeds are forming.

The honeybees were somewhat reluctant towards it, only visiting it from time to time as though sampling something unknown. Hopefully this is not a vote of no confidence but rather the same process that we went through with Koelreuterias (Golden rain tree - that one flowers in the summer as well) which took about 3 years from the first flowering to being a popular bee destination. The wild pollinators loved both kinds of tree in their first flowering year.

In general it has been my impression that evodia is not really happy about drought. It's true that in general, even drought-tolerant trees benefit from watering when young. And yet for years I somehow thought deep mulching and no special watering would be enough. However, I can see the huge difference between the ones that did get watered (or were sited in a semi-shady area) and those fully exposed to the elements. So if you'd prefer not to wait for ages for your young trees to grow up, like I did, watering is worth it.

The ones growing in semi-shade are stretching out, I guess reaching for the light which they much prefer. So both things in the description at the top of this topic are true for me: that the tree likes *consistently moist* soil and that it tolerates *some* shade (but would rather have full sun).

Yeah, I'm not the world's best photographer.



 
Can you really tell me that we aren't dealing with suspicious baked goods? And then there is this tiny ad:
Rumpelstiltskin ain't got nothing on this
https://permies.com/wiki/92731/fiber-arts/Homegrown-Linen-transforming-flaxseed-fibre
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