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Jackalberry Tree With Exciting Facts & Care Tips

The Jackalberry Tree earned its name because its delicious fruits are one of the major food sources for the cunning Jackals in the African forests.

Generally, the Jackalberry tree is a dense tree with a dark green canopy that can reach about 65-70 feet tall and about 13-15 feet wide. This tree can adapt to harsh conditions and is hardy to drought and most soil types.

The Jackalberry tree (Diospyros mespiliformis) is also known as African Ebony due to its dark bark.

So, go through this entire article to learn interesting facts about the unique Jackalberry tree and the tips to care it.

What is a Jackalberry Tree? 

Jackalberry is a unique tree that bears both deciduous and evergreen features. During the fall, you can see it losing the leaves, but the tree does not become fully bare.

This tree is native to the Savannas of Africa and is from the family Ebenaceae, a Persimmon family. 

a tall Jackalberry tree
African Ebony reaches an extended height and can face every challenge.

Moreover, this dense tree with a dark green canopy can reach about 65-70 feet tall and about 13-15 feet wide. This huge tree provides shelter to many wildlife, birds, and reptiles.

The bark of this tree is dark brown when the plant is young but turns gray with a rough texture upon maturity. 

Jackalberry trees can grow very slowly but can live up to a hundred years. This hardy tree can also tolerate long drought conditions and fire.

So, this tree is an important member of the ecosystem that helps to prevent natural calamities like fire, erosion, and landslides.

Jackalberry Tree Facts 

The Jackalberry tree is one of the largest trees in Africa. The male and female flowers grow on different trees as the plant is dioecious.

The pollen of the male Jackalberry flower goes into the female flower through wind, water, and other pollinators. The pollinated flower bears about 1-inch long fruit.

You can find the tree bearing single-seeded fleshy fruits from summer to fall. The fruits are orange to red when mature and have a slightly sweet to tangy flavor.

Moreover, this tree also blesses you with dense wood, which can make durable and beautiful furniture. The wood is valuable as it is termite-resistant.

Interestingly, termites and the Jackalberry tree have a mutualistic relationship. Termites stay at the base of the tree, aerating the soil, and in return, the tree provides shelter to these insects.

Apart from its uses, the Jackalberry tree also bears cultural significance and has different meanings and symbolism, including strength, longevity, wisdom, positivity, etc.

How Does A Jackalberry Tree Survive?

Jackalberry trees in forests survive themselves as they have a great ability to withstand dry conditions. 

Moreover, when the birds and animals eat the fruit, they disperse it and make the reproduction of the new tree easy. However, if you choose to grow them in your garden, here are some care tips.

  • Although this hardy tree can adapt to harsh soil, choose a location with well-draining loamy soil. Also, your selected site must receive at least 6 hours of full sun.
  • During the first year, water regularly whenever the soil becomes 2 inches dry. Regularly monitor the plant during the dry season.
  • Fertilize the tree with a balanced fertilizer when the plant is young with a balanced fertilizer. You can fertilize less often upon maturity.
  • Mulch around the base of the Jackalberry tree to retain moisture during the dry seasons. 
  • Jackalberry trees cannot tolerate frost, so use frost blankets during cold climates.
  • Prune the tree just before the growing season and dispose of the fallen fruits and branches to avoid unwanted pests.
  • If you notice any pests or disease infestation, use pesticides, fungicides, or neem oil to eliminate them.

From Editorial Team

Adaptation Of Jackalberry Tree!

The Jackalberry tree has a good resilience to harsh conditions. you can also see the adaptations in behavior as the tree sheds the leaves during dry conditions. 

Moreover, this tree only produces fruits in the high availability of water.

So, due to these qualities, the tree can thrive easily in the challenging environments in the African savannah.

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