Dacrycarpus - Growing Guide

Growing Dacrycarpus dacrydioides

New Zealand Dacryberry

Like Dacrydium, this evergreen tree from New Zealand is related to Podocarpus. Its appearance is however quite different to Dacrydium or Podocarpus and visitors to the garden here often comment that our young trees look dead. This is because the foliage looks brown and drooping from the branches at a distance. The reality is rather different and this remains an unusual and peculiar conifer with great ornamental value in the garden. The mature trees at Tregrehan Garden grow in a clump near a pond which amplifies their graceful drooping habit in immaturity.

The long, slender, drooping branchlets from the sparse branches of this quick growing tree are clothed with small narrow bronze-green two ranked leaves which are scale-like on young trees. In more mature specimens the leaves are arrayed spirally. The seeds are nut-like with a red fleshy Podocarpium immediately below the seed.

We have found this tree to be perfectly hardy but, like the related Dacrydium cupressinum, it can be greenhouse grown in colder parts of the country where it will need to be pruned to keep it under control.

Cuttings from immature weeping branchlets root easily in early autumn but then quickly need tying up to produce a definite leading shoot from the floppy growth.

Staking needs to continue until the plant is properly established in the garden.



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