Is carrotwood tree evergreen?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

The carrotwood tree is indeed evergreen. This means that it retains its foliage throughout the year, providing a constant green presence in the landscape. Unlike deciduous trees that shed their leaves in the fall, evergreen trees like the carrotwood maintain their leaves year-round.

The carrotwood tree, also known by its scientific name Cupaniopsis anacardioides, is native to Australia and was introduced to California as an ornamental tree. Its name is derived from the orange inner bark that can be seen when the outer bark is peeled away. This unique feature adds visual interest to the tree, especially when the sunlight hits it just right.

In terms of growth rate, the carrotwood tree is considered to be moderately slow. This means that it does not shoot up rapidly like some other tree species. Instead, it takes its time to grow, resulting in a more compact and dense form. This slow growth rate can be advantageous in terms of maintenance, as it does not require frequent pruning or trimming to control its size.

When fully mature, a carrotwood tree can reach a height of around 40 feet and spread out to about 30 feet wide. Its neat and symmetrical appearance adds a touch of elegance to any landscape. However, it is worth noting that the carrotwood tree is not particularly exciting or showy in terms of its appearance. It lacks vibrant flowers or colorful foliage, relying instead on its evergreen nature and the subtle beauty of its bark.

One reason why the carrotwood tree is not considered invasive in Southern California is due to the region’s drier climate. Invasive species often thrive in areas with abundant moisture and fertile soil, outcompeting native plants for resources. However, the carrotwood tree does not have the same aggressive growth habits in this environment, allowing other native species to coexist without being overrun.

The carrotwood tree is an evergreen species that adds a touch of greenery to the landscape year-round. Its slow growth rate and neat appearance make it an attractive choice for those seeking a low-maintenance tree. While not particularly showy, the orange inner bark provides a unique visual element. In Southern California, the carrotwood tree is not invasive due to the drier climate, allowing it to peacefully coexist with native plant species.