What is Lucerne Tree?
- Known as Tagasaste or Boom Lusern. Biological name ~ Chamaecytisus palmensis
- Evergreen, a fast-growing tree which can reach 6m in 6 years
- Nitrogen-fixing legume plant
- Nutritious all year
- Similar to normal ground lucerne (alfalfa)
- Grows for 60 – 80 years and will be a life-long food-producing investment on your farm.
- Extremely drought-resistant
- Very tough and survives heat, winds, frost and cold
- Note – we do NOT stock the Weeping Tagasaste which is a hybrid seed, also known as Sheep Lucerne. It is a hybrid plant with considerably less carrying-capacity.
Why plant it?
- Doubles your land’s carrying capacity
- Recovers 50 days after grazing or pruning
- Grazed directly off the tree
- Highly nutritious food
- No danger of bloat
- No mechanisation needed
- All-year supplementary grazing
- Excellent wind-break & fire-break
- Re-conditions the soil with nitrogen-fixing nodules, bringing the soil back to life
- Abundant white, fragrant flowers which attract bees
- Prolific seeds-bearing trees
- Develops deep tap roots which delve 10m deep into the earth to source water, and then will not require watering after the first year.
- Trees provide shelter, moisture & nitrogen for grasses that grow between rows.
How does Tree Lucerne compare to normal lucerne?
- The leaves look similar.
- Just as nutritious and soft and palatable – with NO danger of bloat!
- The tree grows vertically and out sideways, there is much more food on a tree than on lucerne growing on the ground – literally a vertical green haystack!
- Normal lucerne (alfalfa) dies back or slows in winter, however, the lucerne tree thrives, especially in the winter rainfall areas.
- No cutting, raking, baling – it is ready for the animals to come browse directly from the tree.
One branch like this yields a whole handful of leaves – wonderful food for grazing animals!
More information ~
- Trees are ready for grazing when about 1.5m height with stems of about 2.5cm thick. We recommend that you do NOT graze your trees for the first 2 years.
- Sheep, cattle, Boer goats, and horses browse and graze tree lucerne directly off the tree.
- Keep a watchful eye to check grazing off the trees and send the animals out when most the leaves are eaten.
- Leave the trees for about 50 – 60 days to recover and grow new leaves. It bounces back!
- This tree loves to be pruned and grazed. Tender, green leaves and shoots sprout all over the branches and main stem. (Read more about pruning here)
- Prune long branches to keep the tree at grazing height, about 1 meter high.
- Prune when young to promote more side shoots
- Animals will stimulate fresh growth with their grazing.
- Pruned branches provide excellent fodder when chipped (read more about Chipped food) and it can be fed green and wet, or as dried fodder.
Copyright © 2012 by Myles & Nadene Esterhuizen
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher permitted by copyright law.