Vachellia sieberiana is a magnificent large tree with a flat crown of deep green, feathery foliage and an attractive creamy-tan to yellow-brown flakey bark, is easy tree to identify. The flaky, papery bark peels off in flattish strips, revealing a yellow underbark.T his fast growing tree develops its wide spreading flat-topped shape whilst still young. During spring, balls of cream to yellow coloured flowers appear in profusion and it has a sweet scent that attracts insects and birds alike. Grey brown pods, containing seeds, follow in autumn and ripen on the tree. The pods have a musky scent and livestock and game will happily graze on the fallen pods. The Paperbark sometimes produce paired, white thorns which are joined at the base and grow to a length of 100mm. Semi- hardy, this fast grower thrives in dry areas and is moderately resistant to frost.
Vachellia sieberiana is a favoured nesting tree for Barbets. The Red Billed Wood hoopoe love probing under the yellow papery, flaking bark for insects. They thrive in poor soils and will grow in rocky areas. Once established they can tolerate quite cold conditions.
It is ideal for street planting as it provides light shade, but will also act as a specimen tree in a larger garden. It is advisable to plant the tree where plenty space is available as the canopy can extend widely. Protect from frost when young.
A true ‘African’ tree, Vachellia sieberiana is a good specimen for a big garden where you want to attract local birdlife.