Garden

Tamerice - Tamarix ramosissima


GeneralitŠ°


About sixty species of trees and shrubs belong to the genus Tamarix, with deciduous or evergreen leaves, originating in Asia and the Mediterranean; T. gallica is the most widespread species in cultivation, it is a small deciduous tree, which reaches 4-6 meters in height. It has an erect or inclined stem, with greyish bark, deeply wrinkled; the branches are dense and form a rounded crown. The young branches are very thin and flexible, often arched or pendulous; the leaves are very small, similar to small scales of light green color, sometimes almost bluish. At the beginning of spring the branches are filled with small spikes of tiny flowers, pink in color; the flowering is so abundant that the whole plant looks like a cloud of flowers. The flowers are followed by small capsule fruits containing seeds. The tamarisk they have been cultivated for centuries on the Mediterranean coasts; thanks to the fact that they tolerate winds and brackish water, they are often used to create windbreak hedges in coastal areas or even to solidify breakwaters. They can also be grown in pots or as bonsai.

The tamarisk


The tamarisk is a beautiful shrub, very decorative, characterized by an abundant flowering carried on its fine branches. Its natural habitat is the coasts. All species of tamarisk are native to Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean regions, and in Asia, more precisely from China. In the gardens about 12 species are used, although often the names and classifications are a bit confused due to the difficulty of identification (sometimes possible only thanks to a microscope).
Its cultivation is rather simple since it adapts well to different climates and soils. It is also very resistant to diseases. It is therefore a great choice for those who want to insert a decorative plant that requires little maintenance.









































Family and gender
Tamaricaceae
Type of plant Evergreen or deciduous shrubs
Exposure Full sun
Rustic Rustic enough
Ground Not demanding, possibly poor and sandy. Not heavy or clay soils
colors Generally pink flowers, but also white, red, salmon
Irrigation Not necessary
Flowering Spring, summer, autumn depending on the species
Propagation Talea, seed
Composting Once a year, in the spring

Tamerice characteristics



The tamarisk belongs to the genus Tamerix which has about fifty species and is part of the Tamaricaceae family. The habit can be bushy, rounded and in some cases even weeping. It grows spontaneously on the coasts of all Europe and Italy. If it is grown as a tree it reaches an average of 3 meters in height and width. In special cases, however, it can even grow up to 5 meters.
The flowering period depends on the species. Some bloom in spring, others in summer or autumn. This event is really noteworthy because all the branches are lightly covered with small flowers, usually pale pink, collected also in hanging, more or less long clusters. The aesthetic effect is of great elegance and lightness.
The tamarisk that bloom in spring, moreover, they do it before the appearance of the leaves. In this case the corollas cover all the branches and make the event particularly spectacular.
The foliage, light green and deciduous, is formed by numerous and very small alternate leaves in the shape of an elongated scale, fine and soft, directly attached to the branch. From a distance it could easily be mistaken for a juniper, but with the advantage of not having thorns.
They are rustic, robust, decorative shrubs and require very little care. This is why they are numerous in gardens, especially in coastal areas. They resist very well to the wind and are perfect both for use as an isolated specimen and for the formation of free hedges.
Inserting a tamarisk as an isolated specimen gives a Mediterranean touch to any garden.

Exposure


These small trees prefer sunny areas, they need at least a few hours a day of direct sunlight to develop at best. They do not fear the cold, although it can happen that very intense frosts ruin the tips of the branches.
The best exposure for the tamarisk is without doubt the full sun. Only in these conditions will it be able to grow quickly and vigorously (as it is in its nature) and give us the beautiful blooms that we expect.
It tolerates a slight shade for a few hours a day, but more would be a serious obstacle to its well-being.

Watering



The Tamerici do not need excessively regular watering and can easily withstand even long periods of drought; they also tolerate brackish water near the roots. The young specimens are watered in the event of prolonged periods of summer drought, while long-standing trees can be satisfied with the rains.

Ground


They prefer very loose and fairly well-drained soils, even rich in limestone; it is advisable to add sand to the soil where you want to place a tamarisk.

Tamerice cultivation



The tamarisks grow very well in all types of soils, as long as they are well drained and are not excessively calcareous or moist. It is therefore excellent for all poor, sandy or dry soils.
Instead, avoid inserting it if the area is compact and excessively clayey.
In this case also the predisposition of a draining layer may not be sufficient.
If we really want to have it in the garden it will be necessary to dig a large hole, insert a large cement jar and fill it with suitable substrate, then with large amounts of sand, gravel and light soil.

Multiplication


In spring it is possible to sow small seeds as soon as the fruits open; in autumn we can take wood cuttings. The tamarisk is multiplied in nature with self dissemination, since it produces a myriad of seeds carried even away from the wind. It is very common to find small plants especially around large specimens. Not by chance in some areas (particularly in the United States), it is considered a highly invasive vegetable.
A quicker and rather simple method is the cutting: apices long about thirty centimeters are taken during the winter months. They can be put in jars with a very light mixture of sand, peat and perlite or you can also try placing them directly in the ground. The rooting takes place quickly and you will see the first sprouts already in spring.
Once the rooting is successful we will proceed with subsequent topping to please the preparation of the specimen.

When and how to plant it



The best time for planting is undoubtedly the autumn. Proceeding this season we will give the plant the possibility of adapting to the new location and starting to explore the surrounding terrain with the roots. In spring, therefore, a good and fast vegetative growth will be ready to begin.
However, in particular the potted specimens can also be planted in spring, possibly before the month of April.
To begin with, you will need to dig a large and deep hole at least twice the size of the vessel (generally the ideal is 1 meter in each direction). If the substrate turns out to be slightly compact and heavy we can intervene by mixing coarse sand and a little organic soil improver.
On the bottom of the hole it will be good to create a drainage layer with gravel or other suitable material.
We insert the plant so that the collar is at ground level, we cover with the soil and we press carefully. Finally we irrigate slightly.
If we want to create a hedge the ideal distance will be 1.5 meters between one plant and another.

Parasites and Diseases


Tamerics are sometimes attacked by aphids or red spider mites. They are very autonomous and resistant trees. They are rarely attacked by insects or cryptogams and, in any case, there is almost never the need to intervene to stem this type of problem.

Variety


As we have said, there are many species of tamarisk, but only a few are cultivated. However, numerous cultivars have been developed to meet the demands and needs of all green lovers.
In general they can be divided into species with spring flowering and species with autumn flowering. The former are the most widespread in the garden.













































Tamarix gallica


together with Tamarix tetranda it is the most widespread in our country, it is an evergreen shrub, with thin arched purple branches, and very small, gray-blue leaves. The flowers, of an intense pink color, bloom in spring covering almost completely the branches; reaches five meters in height.

Tamarix tetranda


widespread in the Mediterranean regions and in the Caucasus, it has squamiform leaves, light green, and deep pink flowers, gathered in racemes of about 5 cm; reaches three to four meters in height.

Tamarix petandra


widespread in south-eastern Europe and in Asia Minor, it has scaly leaves, light green, overlapping each other; the flowers are pink and bloom in August forming panicles of about 10 cm. Being very resistant to salt and wind, it is often used as a windbreak by the sea.

RusticitŠ°



The tamarisks widespread in the garden are all particularly resistant to frost. They usually tolerate even -20 ° C well. They can therefore be grown quietly throughout our country with the exception, perhaps, of mountain areas above 1500 meters.

Crop care


The tamarisk does not require large interventions. Generally it does not need irrigation or even fertilization.
If the soil was really poor, we can distribute, once a year, at the vegetative growth, a slow release granular fertilizer in the area occupied by the foliage.
Strong and cold winds can create problems, especially for young specimens. We can therefore protect them with barriers or covering them with special sheets.
In any case, the roots are very resistant and in case of serious damage to the foliage you can count on sure spells from the underground apparatus.

Pruning



The pruning of tamarisks is not essential. We intervene if we want the plant to be more compact and orderly.
Let us remember that some species bloom on old branches. We therefore avoid cutting those born in the previous year (at best, let's take a look at them) and concentrate on those now exhausted to always keep the specimen clean and vital.
How to prune to favor a beautiful flowering
In this case it is certainly necessary to intervene in the spring, after the end of the frosts.
If you want the plant to grow in height, you will select three or four main branches and the secondary branches will be suppressed, avoiding too much action in the lower area (which could then be too bare). To multiply the flowering branches instead, the branches produced in the previous vintage that have already blossomed will have to be shortened by 2/3. In this way the birth of new secondary branches bearing corollas will be stimulated.
Finally you will have to continue the work making the bush more aerated, therefore eliminating all the crooked branches or going towards the center of the specimen. The ideal is to give a flared shape, but other models are also possible since pruning is well tolerated. If you want to get a hedge you will need to prune frequently for the first few years trying to give the desired shape and make the reef very thick. Afterwards it will intervene whenever it is necessary to adjust its height and width.
  • Tamarisk



    The tamarisk, or tamerix in its classification, is a small tree with a shrubby habit, originating from the areas of

    visit: tamarisks

Flowering periodVarietyDescription of floweringPlant characteristicsPurposesRusticitŠ°

Spring Summer

Tamarix parviflora

Late May-early April
Light pink

Bushy or weeping habit
Up to 5 m in height
Isolated shrub or free hedge A lot, up to -20

Tamarix tetrandra
Light pink flowering on the branches of the previous year, from May to June
Erect habit, fine and arched branches
Up to 5 meters high

Excellent as a windbreak barrier for creating hedges
Very rustic, but fears the frozen winds

Tamarix chinensis
Pink flowering from May
Leaves similar to the cypress.
It can even reach 12 meters in height
As an isolated tree or in thickets
Very rustic, loves wet habitats,
coastal species

Tamarix ramosissima

It flowers from June to September.
Colors from white to pink to salmon to red.
Many cultivars available
Bushy habit, height up to 5 meters. Isolated specimen and thickets
It bears storms and even violent winds.
Suitable for poor soils.
Very rustic

Tamarix gallica
Flowering characterized by long pink bunches, from June to August, before the leaves Feathery and light appearance
height up to 8 meters

Isolated specimens,
isolated hedges and cutters

It supports salt soils very well.
Very rustic