September Tree of the Month: Cedro Espino

Welcome to the Azuero Earth Project’s Tree of the Month page! In an effort to share with you our passion for trees, we have decided to create a special page to showcase one of our many wonderful Azuero tree species. Every month we will choose a new tree species that has caught our eye and we will feature it here on our website. Be sure to check back monthly to find out which tree we have selected for our Tree of the Month!

September’s Tree of the Month: Cedro Espino (Pachira quinata)

Two mature cedro espino trees c. Carlos Navarro

The cedro espino is a tall, straight-growing tree with a modest buttress, often easy to identify because of the sharp spines commonly found covering its bark. The tree is widely recognized for its multitude of potential uses and its adaptation to different types of soil. It forms part of the Malvaceae family which also includes the Bongo (Ceiba pentandra) and the Baobab (Adansonia sp.), a tree of great cultural significance in Africa. In optimal conditions, the cedro espino can grow quickly, adding as much as 3 cm of trunk diameter per year. The tree produces an excellent and durable wood, ideal for use in window frames and doors and in other locations where sunlight might damage or warp a less stable wood.

Cedro espino plantation c. Jonathan Clay
Cedro espino is a species commonly used in reforestation projects, and it is also highly prized as a commercial timber. The cedro espino is also capable of asexual regeneration via vegetative sprouting, which makes it an ideal tree for use in live fences.
Leaves of the cedro espino c. Carlos Navarro
The leaves of the cedro espino are alternate and palmately compound, with five or seven serrated leaflets. As it is a deciduous tree, it loses its leaves completely during the dry season (January-April), when large white flowers are produced.

One thought on “September Tree of the Month: Cedro Espino

  1. I saw my first Cedro Espino at Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu. It is a large ancient tree located in the Parking Lot by the canal. For fun, I collected a few seeds, and to my surprise they germinated quickly after soaking in water for a couple of days.

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