A Strawberry Tree is ideal, if you love this little red fruit but need some shade in your garden. Although it is not a member of the strawberry family, its red berries and evergreen foliage will go well in almost any garden.
If you're looking to add an edible fruit tree to your garden, you'll want to pick a different tree. Strawberry trees have berries that look tasty, and birds enjoy eating them. They taste bitter, though, to humans.
Strawberry trees are grown from seeds. The seeds take up to three months to germinate, and the trees grow very slowly. They do well in a wide variety of soil conditions, although they prefer well-drained soil high in organic matter. They are one of the few trees that can thrive in heavy clay soil, as long as the area has good drainage.
Strawberry trees like full sun, but may need some shade in a desert landscape. Once the trees get established, they are very hardy. They can withstand drought, salty air, and wind. They can't withstand cold, though. They do best in a Mediterranean climate, and are only hardy in zones 8-10.
A mature strawberry tree can be quite lovely. The trees have unique twisting trunks and branches, and can be grown as trees with a single trunk or as many-stemmed bushes. The leaf stalks and bark have a reddish tint, so they add color to the landscape. The leaves are evergreen, and look like laurel leaves.
Strawberry trees bloom during the fall and winter, and the urn-shaped flowers are white or pink. The bulbous fruit takes up to a year to mature. It starts off white, then becomes yellow, orange, and finally red.
Strawberry trees require very little maintenance. They have long taproots, so they don't require much supplemental fertilization or watering. The trees rarely have pest or disease problems, so they are good for beginning gardeners.
Strawberry trees are not only lovely and hardy, but they also feed birds and animals during the winter months. By planting a strawberry tree, you'll be making your garden beautiful and inviting birds and animals into your landscape.