Cooloola City Farm – Tuckeroos

Plant of the month: Tuckeroo

Plant of the month: Tuckeroo

City Farm, opposite the Community Centre, on Tin Can Bay Road, is open to the public for plant sales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am-3pm, 07 54862304, ccfni09@gmail.com  

The Tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis anacardioides) is our plant of the month. This small-to-medium evergreen  tree (8 – 15m) occurs from the central coast of New South Wales to northern Australia.

It has many appealing characteristics, such as its glossy green leaves, rounded shape and bird-attracting fruit. The non-invasive roots make it a popular choice for landscaping and street planting. They are a good shade tree and can be kept in shape with pruning.

Tuckeroos grow very well in this area. They are hardy, can cope with coastal conditions, including sea spray and are able to grow in most soil types. Their major dislike is wet feet.

A sunny spot is best, but shade is tolerated. In good conditions, they are fast growing and long living. They are a good choice for regenerating bushland.

Tuckeroo flowers are small and cream, arriving in autumn to winter, but it is the fruit that catches the eye. Beginning as green, the three-lobed fruit become orange and eventually open to reveal fleshy red berries containing a black seed. These berries are popular with birds and other wildlife.

In terms of care, mulching and watering in the establishment phase is important, followed by occasional use of native slow release fertiliser as the tree matures.