Japanese Blueberry Tree is a favorite in our office. Known scientifically as Elaeocarpus decipiens, it’s favored for its dense evergreen foliage, making it a fantastic hedge tree. As the name implies, it is native to Japan, but performs exceptionally well here in the Austin climate as it is both heat tolerant and cold hardy.
Small flowers bloom in the summer, making it a destination for butterflies, birds, deer, etc. While the fruit is inedible by our standards, it does provide interesting bronze coloring as new leaf growth matures and dies. This typically wouldn’t be a positive attribute, but this slow process of red-orange to shiny dark green and back allows for a beautiful contrast in the foliage. Be mindful of where you plant these trees—while small, this tree can grow up to 20 feet tall. Since it is slow-growing, we recommend getting it a little larger to start out with for immediate impact.
While considered to be low maintenance, we typically use this specimen as a topiary tree, which does need the occasional trim here and there to keep that structured form. For an even more sophisticated look, we like to light it softly at night.