Rabbitopia

Breeder of show and pet rabbits.

Lucerne Tree (Tagasaste) information page.

    

Lucerne Tree is a fodder plant that you can grow in your backyard and feed to your rabbit. It is hardy, fast growing and drought tolerant.

Seedlings of these plants can be bought from us. -  Go to "Contact Us" and "Location" buttons at the top of this page for email, phone and address details. 

 

Lucerne Tree (Tagasaste)

What is it?

A fast growing, evergreen, legume, small tree/large shrub used primarily as a fodder. It is a high yield fodder. It can increase stock capacity on a farm by 3 times in the right conditions. Its small branches can be continuously harvested and given to any animal that eats a little or a lot of grass or other plants -

e.g.- chooks, parrots, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, cows, sheep, goats, deer, alpacas, kangaroos, etc.

Like lucerne it's highly nutritious with lots of protein and other goodies and my rabbits love it. I'm sure your animals will love it too. Unlike fresh green lucerne it has no toxic affect.

Uses

    1)It is a high yield fodder. It can increase stock capacity by 3 times in the right conditions.

    2)Can be used to supplement other food sources during summer when food is hard to find or  expensive.

    3)Keeps your animals healthy as is very nutritious.

    4)Even you can eat its more tender leaves, hidden in a salad.

    5)Makes a great wind break. 

    6)Shade for livestock.

    7)Can even be used to make a rich mulch.

    8)Made into a hedge or grown as a tree.

    Growing and harvesting.

    Protect young plants from wild rabbits, (they can ring bark it etc.) kangaroos and stock when young.

    If grown in an area where there are no rabbits or kangaroos and stock can not reach it, it can spread slowly (the seeds fall to the ground, they do not float around) but is easily controlled through mowing, pulling them up, poisoning etc. Sprouting seeds can not compete with grass unless there are bare patches of dirt, so it will not spread in lawn. The plant is not on the noxious weed list.

    They can grow to about 3-5 meters high but for livestock it is best kept shorter, which is achieved by letting the sheep or horses etc graze on it or by the pruning from the continual or occasional harvests. If allowed to get too tall the animal will then not be able to reach most of the branches.

    It can be grown like a hedge or allowed to become a tree. To train it into a hedge just trim it into hedge shape. To keep it as a bush keep trimming it back, otherwise you can let it develope into a big tree but it will be harder to reach branches to feed to your bunny if you let it get big.

                 

    This hedge is only 3 years old and been cut back for the bunnies many, many times.

          

    These trees pictured here are only 4 years old.

    They do not like waterlogged soil but otherwise are very hardy. In clay soil plant on a slight slope for drainage reasons.

    They are drought hardy.

    For highest yields fertiliser and water help.

    They can take temperatures down to -9C.

    Seedlings planted right before winter or that have not hardened off can be sensitive to frost and may need some protection. Mine are used to Canberra's winters so if planted out before winter should not need protection. 

    Buying them. 

           Small        2 - 4cm $3

           Medium   5 - 15cm $4.50

           Large        20 - 50cm $6


      Discounts may be available on very large numbers.

           

      Happy growing and bunny or livestock feeding.

 

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