Forest Friday is looking at Tree Wormwood – Artemisia arborescens.
“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 Tree Wormwood – Artemisia arborescens in many designs, as a screening hedge, pest deterrent, chicken wormer and light reflecter but there is so much more to this tree.
- Arid/semi-arid, cold temperate, warm temperate sub-tropical regions.
- will tolerate frosts.
- Fast growing.
- Wind tolerant and drought hardy
- It is easily propagated by softwood cuttings
- Take cuttings Late February/March and September
Needs, Tolerances + Susceptibilities:
- Tree Wormwood is an herbaceous perennial.
- evolved to survive dry environments in the Mediterranean region
- Established plants rarely need watering, except in extremely long dry periods.
- It can be unaffected by light frost.
- Will tolerate most soils provided they drain well.
- Tolerates rainfall between 250 +900mm p/a.
- Young plants require watering as they establish.
Charactoristics + Behaviours:
- Tree Wormwood is a evergreen shrub.
- Growing 1-2m tall with a similar spread.
- Small yellow flowers in Summer.
- It has feather like siler leaves for photosynthesis which help to retain water in dry hot conditions while reflecting light and heat.
- Sprinkle of good compost around the base of the plant annually in spring.
- Habitat for small birds.
- Low level wind break + shelterbelt.
- Help repel insects and Possums
- Can be used for Chickens to ‘self-medicate’ for worms.
- Can be used as a living fence that hedges easily.
- Can be used to create micro climates due to its ability to reflect light and heat (silver foliage)
- Creates a striking backdrop for our systems
- Natural wormer for our chickens
- Grows quickly and provides lots of organic material.
- The smell can help repel insects in the garden
- Rubbing the leaf on the skin can help repel mosquitoes
- Tree Wormwoods natural harsh taste and strong odour tend to repel certain insect pests
- Tree Wormwood builds organic matter which helps nourishes soil.
- It will also turn off nibbling pests such as possums, and other animals.
- Using Tree Wormwood as a companion can repel fleas and flies as well as certain in ground larvae.
- Habitat for small birds which frequent the garden.
- The word “wormwood” comes from wermod, Old English for Artemisia absinthium, a plant known as “common wormwood.”
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