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African Talisay Tree: A Comprehensive Guide


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African Talisay Tree: A Comprehensive Guide Introduction African Talisay or Terminalia Mantaly, also known as the Madagascar Almond, is a remarkable tree species native to the island of Madagascar in the...

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African Talisay Tree: A Comprehensive Guide


African Talisay or Terminalia Mantaly, also known as the Madagascar Almond, is a remarkable tree species native to the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean of East Africa. This tree is renowned for its large, glossy leaves, and crown layered foliage in symmetrical tiers, making it a popular choice for landscaping and gardening enthusiasts.

Characteristics of Terminalia Mantaly

African Talisay is a tall tree, growing up to 20 meters in height, with a crown that can reach 8 meters. Its main stem is upright, round, and straight, with short branches that naturally stratify. The branches are soft and fine, demonstrating strong resistance to typhoons. The tree's leaves are oblast-lanceolate or oblast-obovate, with 4-6 pairs of pinnate veins, and 4-7 impellate. The outer margin of the leaf is light golden yellow, accounting for about half of the leaf surface, with the center of the leaf being light green.

Growth Conditions and Care

African Talisay thrives in hot and humid climate conditions, with a preference for full light or moderate shade. The growth rate of African Talisay can vary depending on the environmental conditions and care provided. In general, this species can grow at a rate of about 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) per year under optimal conditions. However, growth rates may be slower in less-than-ideal conditions, such as poor soil, drought, or inadequate sunlight. Providing proper care, including appropriate watering, fertilization, and pruning, can help ensure a healthy growth rate for African Talisay.

When caring for African Talisay, it's important to ensure good drainage and ample sunshine. Young trees need more water and should be watered frequently. Organic fertilizer should be applied in spring and summer each year. If the crown is not balanced, slight trimming after the winter leaves is recommended.

Pest Control

African Talisay is susceptible to pests such as moths and red fire ants. Moths like to eat young leaves, resulting in weak growth and even death of the tree. Red fire ants can also cause root damage. To control these pests, spray the leaf surface with a chrysanthemum fat solution and irrigate the roots with a phoxim solution.


Pruning is an essential part of African Talisay care. The lower branches of the trunk should be cut off, and the terminal bud and lateral bud should not be clipped. This allows for the pruning of side branches and leaves after expansion. The terminal stem can grow unlimitedly, so more attention should be paid to the side branches.

African Talisay in Philippine Landscaping and Urban Design

The unique appearance and hardiness of African Talisay make it a popular choice for landscaping and urban design projects in the Philippines. Here are some benefits of incorporating this tree into various settings:

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: African Talisay's tiered branching pattern and vibrant foliage make it a visually stunning addition to any landscape. Its architectural form creates a focal point in gardens, parks, and public spaces.

  2. Shade and Windbreak: The tree's dense canopy provides ample shade and serves as a natural windbreak, making it an ideal choice for residential and commercial landscapes.

  3. Low Maintenance: African Talisay is relatively low maintenance, requiring minimal pruning and care. Its adaptability to a variety of soil conditions and resistance to common pests and diseases make it an attractive option for busy property owners and landscapers.

Examples of prominent companies, malls, and real estate developers using African Talisay in their projects include Ayala Land, SM Prime Holdings, Robinsons Land Corporation, Filinvest Land, and Megaworld Corporation. These developers have incorporated the tree into various residential communities, commercial centers, and public spaces, enhancing the visual appeal and functionality of their projects.


African Talisay, with its unique style and beneficial properties, is a tree that offers both beauty and utility. Whether you're looking to enhance your garden, provide shade along a street, or explore its medicinal uses, this tree is a worthy addition to any landscape.

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African Talisay Tree: A Comprehensive Guide