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Toona - Growing Guide
Growing Toona sinensis
(Formerly Cedrela sinensis)
This tree is often mistaken for Ailanthus altissima but that species have glandular teeth near the base of the leaflets and it does not have the oniony smell to its leaves which characterises toona.
Our erect single stemmed tree at Caerhays has quickly achieved 30-40ft in 25 years in a poor spot where it has had to compete with surrounding beech trees. The leaves are pinnate and up to 2ft long with five to thirteen pairs of leaflets on individual leaves. Usually there are even numbers of leaflets on each leaf.
The flowers appear in July but sadly not yet on our tree. They are white or greenish white in terminal panicles of around 12in in length.
This hardy deciduous tree will root most easily from root cuttings taken from the base of the tree in winter.
The most popular form of this tree, and one of our best sellers, is T. sinensis ‘Flamingo’. This form of the tree has vivid white then pink new leaves and new growth early in the year. This turns creamy yellow and then reverts to bright green. The mature plants at Wisley produce a special show of new growth in April and early May. However the show is just as good in the nursery.