Nothofagus betuloides is a genus consisting of about thirty species of medium-sized trees, originating in South America, Australia and New Zealand. The species native to the American continent are evergreen, while the others have deciduous leaves; the genus is closely related to the fagaceae.
The leaves are small, oval or heart-shaped, bright green; the stem is erect, quite long, with an intense brown bark, smooth, very branched; the foliage is elongated or fastigiata and many branches tend to have a horizontal direction; in summer it produces small racemes of red, yellow or orange flowers. They grow quite slowly, but over the years they reach a size close to 15-20 m.
The species of Nothofagus betuloides originating in South America do not fear the cold and prefer sunny positions, although in the early years they might need a slight summer shade; the species coming from Oceania instead fear the cold enough and in our continent they are generally cultivated only as bonsai, in order to be placed in a tempered greenhouse in the winter months, these species offer a spectacular autumn coloring of the leaves.
It is good to carefully evaluate the best type for cultivation, in relation to the type of climate in your area, so as to guarantee the best possible habitat for your plant.
Most nothofagus come from wetlands, therefore they need regular watering, throughout the year, more abundant during periods of drought; it is advisable to place the nothofagus in the vicinity of an aquatic garden, in this way the specimens can have a soil with the correct degree of humidity and will have the opportunity to develop at their best.
Obviously, each variety may have slightly different needs, as some types require greater irrigation, while others can withstand drought even more easily.
Except for some species belonging to this genus, usually this type of trees prefer acid ph soils, loose, well drained, moist and rich in organic matter. While loving damp soils it is always good to check that the soil in which they are buried has proper drainage, which allows to avoid dangerous water stagnations, which could cause the onset of radical rot.
The multiplication of this variety of trees takes place by seed, in the spring period, or by semi-woody cutting, which must be placed in a container with an acid pH soil, so as to allow the development of new shoots. when the new plants have reached the correct vigor and have acquired strength, they can be planted in the open ground. The young specimens appear to be more delicate, and it is appropriate to pay more attention to their cultivation.
Nothofagus betuloides: Pests and diseases
Generally Nothofagus betuloides is not attacked by parasites, although it is often affected by ferric chlorosis, which denotes a type of soil that is not congenial to the plant and the lack of substances suitable for its correct development. It is possible to intervene with specific products to allow the plant to absorb all the necessary mineral salts.