Peltophorums at Christmas

Barcaldine’s highway avenues of Peltophorums.

Everybody has a certain item or event that they associate with the coming of Christmas.

To me, it has always been when the Peltophorum trees begin their heaviest bloom.

I just love the golden skyline of Alpha during this of the year and Barcaldine’s highway avenues of Peltophorums.

Although it will flower throughout the year, it always seems to be a mass of yellow, sweetly scented flowers from around the second week of December.

The tree itself is found throughout South East Asia, the Pacific islands, and tropical Australia.

Renowned as a quick-growing, symmetrical tree with a dense crown, it can reach a maximum height of 15 to 17 metres.

The leaves are fine and feathery and are a rich, dark green, and the large flower clusters are produced well clear of the foliage, which helps create the spectacular displays which can be seen at the moment.

Also making an attractive appearance on this plant are its flower buds, twigs, and all new leaves, which are covered with brown, velvety hairs.

The tree has the ability to grow in a large variety of soil types, and even in poor drainage, the tree’s growth rate is not affected. Mulching is always highly recommended, and it does respond well to regular pruning and shaping.

The pinkish-brown coloured timber of this tree is a favourite of local woodturners.

All in all, the Peltophorum is an excellent parkland tree that is suitable for most Central Queensland conditions, and their current spectacular display means that the jolly red man is on his way!

THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

By today, I hope everyone has their Christmas Tree fully decorated.

But have you ever wondered what the different Christmas decorations mean?

According to an old tradition, a family’s Christmas tree should include these twelve ornaments to ensure happiness:

Angel – symbolises God

Bird – symbolises good luck

House – signifies family shelter

Teapot – symbolises hospitality

Pine Cone – symbolises eternity

Fruit – symbolises plentiful blessings

Rose – symbol of the Virgin Mary

Animal – symbolises peace with nature

Santa Claus – symbol of giving and caring

Fish – symbolises Christ, as well as fertility

Flower Basket – represents beauty in the home

Heart – represents true love

CHRISTMAS WISH

On behalf of my family, and myself I would like to wish everyone a happy, holy, safe, and hopefully a fine cool Christmas.

SAVING YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE

Straight after Christmas, one of the biggest problems faced by many people is how to look after the Christmas tree that has been inside for the last few weeks.

While they may still look attractive, some care will be required when relocating them to their outdoor position for the next eleven months.

Always one of the first problems encountered after moving their tree outside is the browning of the outer shoots.

Quite often this will happen within days of relocating the tree but don’t worry, fresh green shoots should appear within the first five to six weeks.

Sometimes some of the older, brown tips may need to be pruned, and the tree may even need some light reshaping, particularly if decorations or children overcome with too much Christmas spirit have bent or broken some of the branches.

Ideally, the best position to place the Christmas tree after being inside is an open but slightly shaded area, such as a greenhouse or under the shade of a tree, eg a Fig Tree, but without any direct sunlight.

Over the next five to six weeks, gradually move the tree into a sunnier position.

An important note to remember is that the shadier the position in which the tree is kept during the year, the more compact in appearance the tree will be, and will therefore make a more attractive Christmas tree for the following year.

Another question always asked straight after Christmas is, “should the Christmas tree be repotted into a bigger pot?“.

This is not advisable, as the bigger the pot, the bigger the plant, and eventually the tree will become too big to move inside.

As far as fertilising goes, a teaspoon of Osmocote during the next few weeks is highly recommended, and then probably another application of Osmocote during spring would provide the best Christmas specimen for Christmas 2022.