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Searsia lancea

Family: Anacardiaceae

Common names: Karee (E); Karee (A); Mokalabata (NS); iNhlangutshane (Sw); Mosabele (Tsw); UmHlakotshane (X);

Tree

Searsia lancea

EVERGREEN

FULL SUN

FROST HARDY

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

FAST GROWER

FRAGRANT

ATTRACTS BIRDS

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

7m x 9m
FLOWERING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Searsia lancea

DESCRIPTION

Searsia lancea has a drooping crown of dense glossy olive-green foliage. The black-brown trunk is contorted and rough. Sprays of minute, scented greenish-yellow flowers occur in spring. The fruit, bunches of small green berries that ripen to brown, are borne on the female plants.

NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
Found in a variety of habitats but often found on riverbanks.
WILDLIFE & ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS
The fruit attracts birds such as bulbuls, barbets, mousebirds and starlings.
LANDSCAPING USES
Since this is a hardy and drought-resistant tree, it can be used on streets, parks and office complexes.
It can be used as a windbreak.
GARDEN THEMES
Bushveld, Forest, Woodland
FLOWERS
Masses of greenish-yellow sprays of minute, sweetly-scented are borne at the end of winter through to spring.
FOLIAGE
The olive-green foliage is borne in a drooping crown.
BARK
The bark is black-brown with rough contortions.
CAUTION
Although it is pollinate by insects, the allergenic pollen is detected in air samples.
The sap from this tree may cause contact dermatitis
The roots can be very aggressive so do not plant too close to walls and paving.

16 Responses

  1. Hi Mariaan

    The spacing of your trees will depend on what look you’re after, how many trees you’re planting and the space available. For a dense forest effect, closer spacing of 3-6m apart can create an enchanting atmosphere. To create an avenue of trees to line a driveway or street for example, then I’d recommend a spacing of 10-20m.

    Without seeing the situation, it is tricky to advise on a companion for your Celtis africana (White stinkwood). Depending on your location, the ferns should be able to tolerate winter sun which is less severe. Also remember that the despite the Celtis africana not having leafy shade for winter the branches still provide some shade and protection.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  2. Hi Glenis
    Thank you so much for responding to all my questions.
    1. How many meters away can I plant my White Karee trees from each other.
    2. Is there any tree that will grow underneath a White Stinkwood tree ( in semi-shade) that is about 20 meters high? The reason is there is no shade in winter underneath the trees and I have Ferntrees growing underneath.
    Thank you so much for all your info.

  3. Hi Mariaan

    Thanks for visiting our site.

    Without seeing the trees and the settings it’s difficult to advise you.

    It sounds like you’ve a mini forest. I don’t advocate cutting down established trees without reason, so I’d suggest you leave them. By allowing them to co-exist you’ll get to witness how marvellous nature is at sharing resources like light and water. Both species are fantastic wildlife-attracting plants, so enjoy their shade.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  4. Hi Glenice. I have a White Stinkwood tree and a Ficus tree about 3 meters apart and 8 meters high. They are more or less the same height. The Ficus is evergreen and a beautiful tree. Must I cut down the Stinkwood, because they are growing huge and I don’t want the stinkwood tree to cause any damages to the Ficus. They are not close to any buildings as we are living on a small holding. Thank you so much for your response.
    Mariaan

  5. Hi Mariaan

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    This is a common mistake but it seems that you may have some success in transplanting as they’re relatively newly planted. Remember to remove as much of the root ball as possible. Try to do this on a cool day and water well in the new planting position.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  6. I planted 3 White Karees a year ago and it’s too close to the neighbours wall. They are about 3 meters high, will they die is I remove them to another place.
    Thanks Mariaan

  7. Hi Markus

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    When propagating cuttings for hardwood species like Searsia lancea, it’s most effective to use a rooting hormone and plant in a riversand/compost mixture.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  8. Hi Jenine

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Yes, trees planted on the boundary of a property may have a negative affect on the neighbour’s enjoyment of their outdoor space, and yet another reason why the choice of species and the planting position is so important.

    Sorry that you’ve got to remove your tree. Perhaps consider replacing your tree with one of the following species:
    – Dais cotinifolia (Pompon tree)
    – Vepris lanceolata (White ironwood)
    – Freylinia tropica (Honeybell bush)

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  9. I think I have a Karee in my yard, neighbours complained that the bees are stinging them. They attract quite a bit of insects as well. We sadly have to get rid of it. It is right in corner so affecting 3 other neighbours as the branches hang over.

  10. Hi Elisabeth

    Great to hear that the garden is giving you great joy.

    Your scenario is definitely testimony to my belief that plants have personalities! Sadly, it seems that one your your trees is just not happy in that location and nature is taking course.

    If it is not likely to cause any damage as it declines, I would leave it in position and plant a replacement close by. Remember that the dead wood serves as a home to many insects that, in turn attract the insect-eating birds to your garden. Buddleja saligna is a wonderful, fast-growing alternative. Other species you could possibly consider are:
    – Bolusanthus speciousus (Tree wisteria)
    – Calpurnia aurea (Wild laburnum)
    – Terminalia phanerophlebia (Lebombo cluster leaf)

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  11. Hi Glenice, we planted 2 Searsia trees in our garde, might be pendulina, they are the smaller variety. Planted them, at about 2 m high, I think it was a 100l container form the nursery, mid 2015. Both grew vigorously to about 5-6 m high with a dense crown. One is still doing well, but the other one is slowly breaking apart, every time there is a storm huge branches break off, it also leans and I think has no well defined central stem. Now there is one bit left, leaning at maybe 20degree, the stem is weakened by the other stems breaking off. Would it be best to just remove it and replant something else ? Maybe a Buddleya Saligna? Still love the garden you designed for us.

  12. Hi Louise

    It sounds like your tree may be reaching the end of its life. Most Searsia lancea in domestic gardens tend to have shorter life spans as they are subjected to “pampering” that can sometimes weaken them. This may be the case in your instance as you have lawn growing around it, which I assume gets watered and fertilised regularly.

    Without seeing the tree, it is difficult to provide advice. Perhaps contact a local arborist to have a look at your tree.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  13. My Karee tree is planted on the pavement and is quit old. It has this white scale on the bark and the leaves are very few. No shade. The other tree that were planted at the same time has more leaves, are greener and shade trees. My Karee has grass growing around it. What can I do to save my tree and to get it up to standard again.

  14. An alternative to this tree for a small garden is Searsia leptodyctia. Small – about 3m high. Slow growing and very hardy.
    Consistent performer and one of my favorites for a small garden.
    Ian

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