Chinese Toon Tree
Toona sinensis (syn. Cedrella sinensis)
This attractive deciduous tree is also known as Chinese cedar, although it is actually a member of the mahogany family (and one of the cold hardiest). A highly esteemed food plant in China, it is extensively cultivated for its new shoots and leaves. These can be boiled or used in stir fries, egg dishes and for pickling and seasoning. They have a aromatic oniony flavour and smell. The leaves also have many medicinal uses, and can be used as a tea substitute. The wood is perfumed and small twigs and branches can be burnt as incense, whilst the mature wood, which resembles mahogany, is good for furniture making, window frames and guitars as it is durable and easily worked and polished. Although this tree can grow to 20m tall, it can easily be pruned to keep it manageable in a small urban garden. It is tolerant of most soils but prefers a moist but well-drained loam. It needs a sunny spot, and is extremely frost hardy, although new shoots may get damaged in spring frosts. PB8.
See also Chinese Toon Tree 'Flamingo'