If you are looking for an indigenous Christmas tree, Podocarpus henkelii is an excellent choice. The tree has a typical pyramid shape and the branches are strong enough to hold decorations.
Evergreen, Henkel’s yellowwood has bright green to bluish green leaves that are spirally arranged, at the end of branchlets. The tree has a drooping habit with dense, glossy foliage and although it can grow to a height of up to 20 m in nature, it is considerably smaller when cultivated.
The tree is fairly hardy and can tolerate mild frost while being moderately sensitive to drought conditions. Ideally, Podocarpus henkelii prefers moist conditions and will thrive when planted in full sun in deep, sandy soil which is kept well mulched and watered.
This elegant tree is highly ornamental and looks lovely when planted as a single specimen, or as an informal screen or hedge. The tree can be utilised as a formal avenue tree and will do equally well when planted in a container – ideal as a living Christmas tree!
In general, the Podocarpus family is known as South Africa’s national tree. Podocarpus henkelii is one of the most popular conifers that will offer continuous interest all year around, in your garden.