I can barely pronounce Cupaniopsis anacardioides so thankfully it’s more commonly known as the Tuckeroo tree. We had one in our garden growing up, and we were always hanging out under its shady leaves and daydreaming.
In our how to grow guide, we’ll introduce you to the Tuckeroo tree in more detail. You’ll learn how to grow, propagate, and care for this Australian native.
Tuckeroo, Beach tamarind, Green-leaved tamarind, Carrotwood
Up to 10 metres tall and 8 metres wide
May to June
Orange yellow fruit in the spring
Poisonous for pets:
Introducing the Tuckeroo Tree
The Tuckeroo tree belongs to the soapberry or Sapindaceae family just like the Lychee tree. Other common names for this Australian native include carrotwood, beach tamarind, and green-leaved tamarind. It calls the eastern and northern parts of Australia its home. In nature, the Tuckeroo tree lives in rainforest sand and also likes to be close to estuaries.
The tree can grow up to a height of around 10 metres, has leather like leaves, and produces green white to cream colour flowers in autumn. Following the flowers is an orange yellow fruit in the spring. The fruit is loved by Australian bird life including the figbird and the flowers attract butterflies, so your garden will be full of life.
Tuckeroo trees are popular as street trees and do well in coastal areas as they can handle their salt. They provide nice shade, have an appealing round shape, and are evergreen. Tuckeroo trees also have non invasive roots which is a bonus for the home garden. You can even grow it in a pot if you prefer.
Tuckeroo trees are incredibly hardy. They are able to grow in places that some other trees and plants can’t like poor quality soil, exposure to salty and windy conditions, and areas with lots of pollution in the air.
How to Grow Tuckeroo Tree
Propagating Tuckeroo Tree
It is possible to propagate your own Tuckeroo tree using fresh seed. Begin by removing all flesh from the seed and then treat it to make germination easier. You can do this by pouring hot water that has just boiled over the seed. Allow it to soak overnight.
Once your seeds are ready, you can scatter them loosely over some well-draining potting mixture. You can then cover the seeds with a layer of the potting mixture and make sure the seeds aren’t too deep in the planting mix.
Once the seeds have been sown, make sure that you keep the mixture moist consistently and be sure not to let it become waterlogged. It usually takes between 2 weeks and 25 days for germination to take place.
Tuckeroo Tree Care Guide
When choosing a spot in the garden for your Tuckeroo tree, aim for somewhere that is sunny or otherwise a place that has part shade. Full sun is preferable and if your tree doesn’t get sufficient light, you might notice that growth is affected.
As a guideline, try and ensure that your Tuckeroo tree gets at least 6 hours of sun each day.
Tuckeroo trees are quite adaptable to many soil types but ideally they like a well-draining soil that has lots of organic matter. A sandy soil is first prize, considering where they occur naturally in rainforests and estuaries. The tree can cope with clay soil if it’s well-draining.
Be sure to add some compost for an extra boost. We also recommend that you add mulch to the top soil and you can use something like wood chips. The pH of the soil isn’t much of a factor for the Tuckeroo tree as it can handle both slightly acidic and alkaline soils.
Carrotwood Watering Schedule
We recommend that you water your Tuckeroo tree well until the tree has established itself, which is usually within 12 weeks. It’s vital that the tree gets sufficient water at this stage because the water makes sure that the soil around the roots can settle in.
A good healthy watering schedule also means that your tree will be able to maintain healthy growth. If there is a drought in your area, you can aim to water once a week but essentially once the tree is established, it shouldn’t need any additional watering.
The Tuckeroo tree can do with an application of organic fertiliser twice a year to help maintain active growth and an abundance of flowers. You can aim to feed your tree during spring and autumn.
Our advice is to choose a low-phosphorus fertiliser or any product that is made specifically for native Australian trees.
Pruning Tuckeroo Tree
Once your Tuckeroo tree has finished producing flowers, you can prune it lightly. This will help to keep the shape neat but it also stimulates new growth.
Pests and Diseases that Affect Beach Tamarind
It’s a good idea to check your Tuckeroo tree for signs of borers when the tree is still in its youth. If your tree is healthy and happy, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this pest.
Signs of borer attack on your tree would be small holes in the branches and tree trunk, or what looks like sawdust. Your best line of defence against this pest is to get rid of affected branches.
This is a soil fungal disease that gets into a tree via the root system and causes dieback and wilting of leaves. There isn’t any real treatment for verticillium wilt other than pruning off branches that are affected and removing them from your garden.
Tuckeroo Tree Frequently Asked Questions
Can you eat the fruit of the Tuckeroo tree?
You can eat the fruit if you like, but the general feedback among those who have tried it, is that it doesn’t have much of a taste. It also tends to burn the mouth and create an upset tummy.
How long can a Tuckeroo tree live for?
These trees have a good lifespan and can live for up to 60 years.
Are Tuckeroo trees considered good for the environment?
There are certainly benefits. It’s been noted that 51 trees can provide enough oxygen for one person for a whole year. They also remove 97 grams of harmful air pollution every year.
Is there anywhere that considers the Tuckeroo tree invasive?
Yes, the Tuckeroo tree is considered an invasive species in the United States, specifically in Florida and Hawaii.
What does it mean if a Tuckeroo tree has yellow leaves?
Yellow leaves on your Tuckeroo tree might mean the soil is too wet or that your tree is lacking in nutrients.
How long does it take for a Tuckeroo tree to reach its full size?
On average, it takes around 20 years.
Why is one of the common names for the Tuckeroo tree carrotwood?
The inner bark of the tree is often an orange colour.
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For more Australian native trees to grow in your garden, check out our growing guides below:
Wrapping Up Our Tuckeroo Tree Growing and Care Guide
The Tuckeroo tree is a popular Australian native that can often be seen lining our streets with lovely dark green leaves, cream flowers, and bright orange fruit. Whatever the season, the tree offers something lovely, including the birds and butterflies it attracts.
It also helps that the tree is drought and frost tolerant. I’m giving the Tuckeroo tree my green thumbs up!