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Bursera simaruba (Red Trunk-Belize) is a medium to tall tree with a thick trunk. Its large irregular branches start close to the ground and form an open rounded crown. In addition, it has reddish or coppery aromatic bark which peels off in papery flakes exposing a smooth gray inner bark. Also, the leaves are compound, with 7 to 13 leaflets. The bright or dark green leaflets spiral, and are up to 12 inches (30.48 cm) long. In addition, flower clusters are borne at the branch ends, male and female flowers on different trees and are insect pollinated.
Furthermore, the red oval-shaped fruits are about .5 inches long containing a single seed. You can propagate Bursera simaruba (Red Trunk-Belize) from cuttings or seeds. This tree is xerophytic and tolerant of varied well-drained soil conditions and salt spray. It has no pests or diseases of major concern.
The light soft wood has utility, serves as fuelwood and was once used to carve carousal horses. The resin, leaves and fruit have medicinal properties. In landscaping, gumbo limbo is often planted for its attractive bark; it is easily pruned and does well along the seaside, as a street tree and massed as an accent.
Besides, Bursera Simaruba adapts very well to different habitats, saline or calcareous soils, that’s why it is used as a street tree in coastal areas; and it is very tolerant to winds, recommended as a hurricane resistant species in South Florida.