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Reproduction of the Judas tree

Reproduction of the Judas tree

The Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum, L. 1758) is a plant of the Fabaceae family probably native to the whole Mediterranean basin and Southern Europe, up to the Black Sea coasts.

Suitable breeding habitat –
Cercis siliquastrum is a plant widespread throughout Southern Europe and Asia Minor, up to a maximum of about 500 meters. It is widespread in France, Italy, from the Balkans to Bulgaria and Greece, Turkey, south of Israel and Jordan, east of Iran, Iraq.
It is a typical plant of the broad-leaved forest, preferring mixed ones in association with ash, holm oak, downy oak, hackberry and other forest essences. Siliquastro hardly grows in humid and shady woods, showing high adaptability and colonizing both arid and steep slopes and even stony places, such as caves and natural rock walls. In fact, this plant prefers calcareous and stony soils, without water stagnation but also tolerates moderately acidic ones. It is also quite resistant to cold.
In Italy it is present, generally in bushy formations, and in all regions up to the Prealps.

Propagation –
Cercis siliquastrum is a plant that grows up to minimum temperatures of around -15 ° C.
This plant does not typically thrive in regions with cool summers, it prefers a warmer climate to fully mature the wood and produce good flowering.
Furthermore, the plant prefers calcareous and stony soils, without water stagnation but also tolerates those moderately acid and with good exposure.
Propagation occurs by seed. Sowing should be done as soon as this matures.
Instead, it is advisable to immerse the seed stored for 24 hours in lukewarm water, then cold stratify for 3 months.
The seedlings are then made to grow in single pots, for the first season, and transplant them in the following spring in the open field.
It can also be propagated agamically through semi-mature wood cuttings in the period of mid-summer in a perfectly shaded area.

Ecology –
The Judas tree is a plant whose flowers are pollinated by bees, attracted by the nectar. Pollen from the protruding stamens is deposited on the bee’s body and carried to the stigma of another flower.
From the ornamental point of view it is widely cultivated in gardens and for its good resistance to cold and is also used in the North. Its growth is relatively rapid, but it begins to bloom only at 6 years of life and therefore it is advisable to buy the plants in the nursery, propagated by cuttings or grafted to recover some time. Given its relatively modest size, it is ideal for small gardens, where it can also be grown as a shrub with truly exceptional results. It can also be used as an isolated specimen, in small groups, in trees. It is suitable for natural parks, the consolidation of landslide slopes and for the creation of thickets and rural trees. The only defect may be represented by the permanence of the fruit on the tree which may not be appreciated.

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