Australian Bottle

DesertChildAZ(z8 AZ)August 16, 2004

I keep seeing these trees around Phoenix and I love their "weeping" quality. I wonder if anyone else has this tree - how often do you water and how are they disease-wise?

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They are not drought tolerant and are horribly messy ... first it's the blossoms and then it's the seedpods (with irritating hairs on the seeds), and then it's the leaves in the fall.

They aren't bvery

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 10:04PM
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DesertChildAZ(z8 AZ)

I'm not talking about a bottlebrush tree with the red blossoms. I was told by Moon Valley Nurseries that the tree I like is an Australian Bottle Tree (not to be mistaken for the bottle trees that have the red bottlebrush looking blooms). An Australian Bottle Tree does not have a bloom, but does grow seedpods. They have many looooong stringy branches that are soft and flexible and they hang like a weeping willow. They also have a very pale green color and teardrop shaped leaves.

Was I misinformed about the kind of tree that it is that I'm describing?

~ Kelly

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 4:17PM
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AzDesertRat(AZ 8b Sunset 12)

Here is a picture of the Australian bottle tree. It does not look like what you are describing.

Bottle Tree

What you appear to be describing is the bottlebrush tree. Here is a bottlebrush tree.

Sort of looks willowy (if that is a word) with red blooms especially in the spring and summer. I have one in my backyard and I like it. It does leave a small mess, but it does attract hummingbirds and other birds, and gives some needed color here.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 11:07PM
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I have one of those, (the one Desert Rat is describing). Its a small one but oh the blossoms are great and attracts hummers galor.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 2:41AM
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Is this a fast grower? If I checked with Baker's or Summer Winds for an Australian Bottle tree, would they recognize the name?


    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 6:00PM
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AzDesertRat(AZ 8b Sunset 12)

Leona, are you referring to the bottlebrush (picture above) or the the bottle tree. I know very little about the bottle tree, but the bottlebrush tree is a moderate grower. It grows in spurts throughout the year, and does very little at other times. I wouldn't recommend it around pools though. It is a nice small tree in other locations though.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 7:52PM
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I was referring to the pic you posted..sorry for the confusion! And thanks for the info...not to worry about a pool on my property.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 11:12PM
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There is also a white bottlebrush tree. It's a nice contrast to the red.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2004 at 12:08AM
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eileenaz(9, Sunset 12)

Egad- that's a bottlebrush?? DesertRat, I've never seen one anywhere near that size, or that full!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2004 at 11:40AM
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crista(Sunset 13)

lazygardens is absolutely right about the bottle tree - as differentiated from the bottle brush tree. Landscapers really pushed them about 30 years ago and we wound up with three. If they're not dropping leaves, they're dropping seed pods - there's always something to rake. On the other hand, the leaves are great to grind up in a chipper/shredder to mulch and use in the compost pile.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2004 at 2:55PM
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AzDesertRat(AZ 8b Sunset 12)

Eileen, my neighbors last year cut down 2 bottlebrush trees which were even bigger than the picture above to put in their pool. They do grow well when they get the right environment. As I stated before they do leave a small mess. But, since the mess is confined to the flower beds and the lawn, I can live with it.

On a side note, I never rake the leaves. They decompose nicely on the lawn and the flower beds. The soil is nice an dark underneath them.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2004 at 4:21PM
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Forget the mess. They are worth the beauty. Just like messy Magnolias or Ginkos. There is also another species of Bottle Tree that has large Maple looking leaves. It is a profuse bloomer. If you wish to avoid arduous clean-up, I suggest using a yard vac/blower to vaccuum up the flowers, etc..

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 2:39PM
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This tree is a nightmare - don't do it!! The leaves start falling in may and are still falling-

A horrible mess - find something with less maintenance.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2004 at 9:39PM
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I don't know if my bottlebrush is just a regular bottlebrush or the australian type. I do know that something has happened to it and I can't find help anywhere. It was thriving just two weeks ago with many blooms and attracting all kinds of hummers and bees. It has been a strong little tree since we planted it two years ago. Now it is dead. And I mean dead. I can't see what happened to it at all. Does anyone have any ideas??? I have always heard that they are such strong hardy trees...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 12:21PM
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just to confuse things, this is what most australians think of when you say Bottle Tree (you can see where it gets its name)

Queensland Bottle Tree

bottlebrush trees (callistemons) are totally different trees

lena, they come in all sorts of colours from reds, to purple to green flowers, but if you want a drought tolerant one, I would look for a west australian variety as they come from a much hotter and drier climate than the eastern varieties. this is probably why some people say bottlebrush trees arent drought tolerant, but people from west oz know them as very tough trees that can easily survive on minimal water. the east coast varieties are fine as long as you can water regularly over summer.

they do drop flowers but like desertrat, Im not bothered by that at all, I like the look of the flower bits on the lawn or even on the paving, and nectar eating birds adore these trees for food. they also make a nice small shade tree which wont get too big.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 9:19AM
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People seem to be discussing 3 different trees. 1)the Bottle Brush Tree (not what you are talking about) 2)Queensland Bottle Tree (related to what you are talking about) and 3)Australian Bottle Tree- Brachychiton Populneus (what you are talking about). I have 2 Australian Bottle Trees and while kind of messy it's worth it for the year round greenery. By the way, they do have flowers. Very small ones.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 1:19PM
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Australian Bottle Tree looks sick - leaves are green but branches are droopy and sagging with lots of bare spots where leaves are gone. How often should we water and what about fertilizing? This is not a young tree.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 7:17PM
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My Austrailian Bottle Tree has been in about 9 months and I like it. Because of the heat, I am now watering deeply
every other day. The leaves are shiny and tree looks healthy except for some brown leaves. Am I watering to much, not enough, or should it have some nutrient?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:26AM
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I live in Arizona and had one of these trees in the backyard and after we purchased the house, that was the first thing to has seed pods that look like dog poop and the leaves are never ending...we also have a large one out front and there is always branches, seed pods and leaves to pick up...also pigeons and large birds like it due to the seed pods. In the spring and summer the tree is full of bird droppings. The small one in the backyard was a young tree and didn't have the seed pods yet.
There are so many beautiful evergreen and flowering trees in my opinion would be better, but of course that's your choice.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:14PM
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