Sidmouth’s Tree of the Week

Tamarisk trees do well in Sidmouth’s micro-climate

A ROW of Tamarisk trees grow in what is known as The Chairman’s Garden – forming a border between the Croquet Club lawns and Bedford Car Park, write Rob and Liz Matthews for our Tree of the Week spot.

These are Tamarix ramossissima, producing small pale pink flowers in September.

They were probably planted in the 1960s and are good in an exposed position, acting as a windbreak between the sea and the lawns.

I believe that this shrubby tree, with feathering pale green foliage, can grow to about eight metres with a spread of five metres, and is more commonly found on the southern Mediterranean coast and also the Balkans.

But they do well here because of our mild micro-climate, there are some in Connaught Gardens too.

Also known as The Salt Cedar, Tamarix soak up a great deal of water and secrete salt from their leaves, so they are of poor food value to insects, and prove more than a little task to the gardener trying to create a colourful garden beneath them.

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However it is well worth the effort for the appreciative comments the gardening group receive.