Forest Friday is looking at the Golden Pea – Daviesia arborea


“Knowledge is great, understanding is better”

This is a chance for us to explore the different trees we use in our permaculture designs. There is so much to understand about a tree before placing it in a system, and by giving a tree what it needs to thrive, the whole system can benefit from the many design and ecologic functions they provide.

Savour Soil uses the Golden Pea – Daviesia arborea in many designs, Being a native, as a living hedge, windbreak and privacy screen, fertility tree and fodder but there is so much more to this tree.

  • A large shrub to small tree with a weeping habit, grown in Sub-tropical, Warm temperate climates
  • Perennial, Yellow, Gold flowers in spring
  • It responds well to coppicing as it is fast growing.
  • Wind tolerant and drought hardy
  • It is easily propagated by seeds all year.
  • Can grow to 14 metres
Needs, Tolerances + Susceptibilities:
  • Golden Pea requires water in hot periods
  • Established plants rarely need watering, except in extremely long dry periods.
  • It can be burned by a light frost or morning sun in winter
  • Will tolerate most soils provided they drain well.
  • Tolerates rainfall less than 650 mm annual rainfall
  • Young plants require regular watering.
Charactoristics + Behaviours:
  • Golden Pea is a evergreen shrub/small tree.
  • Growing to 14m tall with a 2m to 6m spread.
  • Small yellow flowers in Spring
  • Self-mulching.
  • A shallow root system makes it easy to remove if necessary
  • sprinkle of good compost around the base of the plant annually in spring.
Design Function:
  • Has a dense foliage to help support habitat for small birds.
  • Due to its height and spread it creates a fantastic low level wind break + shelterbelt or screen
  • Can be used to help create microclimates
  • Can be planted around trees to help provide fertility
  • Small animals can use it for shade.
  • Provides erosion control and builds soil.
  • Can be used as a cover crop
  • Makes a great living trellis
  • Is a fantastic Insectary/nectary plant (bees, nesting birds, butterfly larvae)
  • Great fodder for animals
  • Self-replicating mulch
  • Grows quickly and provides lots of organic material.
  • Structure and flowers provide food and home for insects and birds
  • Mulch (Chop and drop)
  • Animal fodder
Ecological Function:
    • Golden Pea grows quickly helping to create a screen or wind break
    • Golden Pea builds organic matter which helps nourishes soil.
    • Using Golden Pea as a companion helps build soil fertility.
    • Habitat for small birds, bees and butterfly larvae which frequent the garden.
    • Fodder for insects and other animals

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