(Arbutus)

MORPHOLOGY

SIZES
Shrub. Height till 10 m.

LEAF
Perennial. Leathery, brilliants, sharp and saw leaves, that measure between 3 and 11 cm.

BARK
Thin, of a reddish brown colour. It comes off in small sheets leaving its red skin in sight.

ROOTS
Stump formation, much more bulky much less land availability there is, with a good capacity for reserves accumulation.

FRUIT/SEED
Seed, very small, is located inside the fruit, the berry.

LAND REQUIREMENT
It needs no hi chalky soil.

CLIMATE
Mediterranean. Low temperature -15ºC/-20ºC resistance, according to cold endurance.

USES

Arbutus unedo is a good option for:

  • Spaces that doesn’t permit a tree of big dimensions.
  • Gardens with abundance of birds. Its fruit is very appreciated from a lot of them, as for example, the blackbird, the thrush, etc.
  • Hedges, due to its huge capacity to produce new shoots.

LOGISTIC AND MAINTENANCE

  • Handling with extreme care, above all during vegetative period, due to its thin bark. It needs to be held by the crown to make the direct pressure on the bark lighter when cranes are employed for transplanting.
  • Excess of humidity in the soil doesn’t help it. It tolerates very well Mediterranean climate dryness and it keeps in good health with low level of nutrients, and consequently it doesn’t need large supply of fertilizers.
  • It well put up with drastic pruning.

PRECAUTIONS

  • Abstain from very chalky soils.
  • Sores and diseases:
    • Pathologies due to funguses: It is sensitive to Phytophthora and to Diplodia. A preventive treatment with fungicides during the transplanting is recommended.
    • It is also sensitive to funguses as Septoria and Cordaria, that cause spots on leaves. It needs regular treatments to have spotless leaves.

CURIOSITIES

    • Through the fermentation of its fruit a licor is obteined.
    • When the berry is ripe and sweet, it is said that has a strong aphrodisiac effect.

PICTURES