How to Grow Cascara Tree: A Comprehensive Guide

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Are you looking to add a unique and interesting plant to your garden? Well, look no further than the cascara tree! This small to medium-sized tree is native to the Western United States and is known for its beautiful foliage and berries that are used for medicinal purposes. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about growing a cascara tree in your garden.

1. Choosing the Right Location

The first step to growing a healthy cascara tree is to choose the right location for planting. Cascara trees thrive in areas that have well-draining soil and get plenty of sunlight. They can grow in a range of soils, including clay, loam, and sandy soils. It’s important to note that cascara trees don’t do well in extremely hot and dry climates, so be sure to plant them in a location where they can get some shade during the hottest parts of the day.


  • Choose a location that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  • Avoid planting cascara trees in low-lying areas where water tends to accumulate.
  • Test the soil in your chosen location to ensure it has good drainage.

2. Planting a Cascara Tree

Once you have chosen the perfect location, it’s time to start planting your cascara tree. You can plant it in either the spring or fall, depending on your location and climate. Here are the steps to follow when planting a cascara tree:


  1. Dig a hole that is twice as wide and as deep as the root ball of the tree.
  2. Remove the tree from its container and gently loosen the roots.
  3. Center the tree in the hole and backfill with soil, making sure the tree is level.
  4. Water the tree thoroughly to help settle the soil.

3. Watering and Fertilizing

Cascara trees are relatively low-maintenance and don’t require heavy fertilization or watering. However, it’s important to make sure the tree gets consistent moisture throughout the growing season. Here are some tips to keep in mind:


  • Water your cascara tree deeply once a week during the growing season.
  • Apply a slow-release fertilizer in the spring to help promote healthy growth.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to weak growth and damage the tree.

4. Pruning and Maintenance

Cascara trees benefit from regular pruning to help maintain their shape and promote healthy growth. Here’s what you need to know:


  • Prune your cascara tree in the late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.
  • Remove any dead or diseased branches, as well as any branches that cross or rub against each other.
  • To promote a bushier growth habit, prune the tips of the branches back by one-third each year.
  • Regularly check the tree for any signs of insect or disease problems, and address them promptly if they arise.

Concluding Thoughts

Growing a cascara tree is a great way to add some natural beauty to your garden and benefit from its medicinal properties. With the right location, care, and maintenance, your cascara tree can thrive for years to come.

FAQs About Cascara Tree Growing Information How to Grow

Q: Can I grow a cascara tree in a container?

A: While it’s possible to grow a cascara tree in a container, it’s not ideal. Cascara trees can grow quite large and require a lot of space for their roots to spread out. If you do decide to grow a cascara tree in a container, be sure to choose a large container and provide plenty of water and fertilizer.

Q: How long does it take for a cascara tree to mature?

A: Cascara trees are relatively slow-growing and can take up to 10 years to reach their full size. However, they can begin producing berries as early as 4-5 years after being planted.

Q: Can I prune a cascara tree during the summer?

A: It’s best to avoid pruning a cascara tree during the summer, as this can lead to stress on the tree and damage its growth. Stick to pruning in the late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

Q: Are cascara tree berries edible?

A: While cascara tree berries have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, they are not considered edible and can cause digestive issues if consumed in large amounts. It’s best to stick to using the berries for medicinal purposes only.


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