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The Best Behaved Trees for an Australian Climate

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shutterstock_73827871It’s often hard to determine which trees are most suitable for your yard and the climate in which you live. There are many varieties of trees and plants to choose from, and making the right selection will allow you to have long lasting shrubbery and a flourishing garden. Trees are an integral part of a landscape as they can provide great colours, foliage, and much needed shade in the warmer months. Here is a great list of trees that are suited to our wonderful Australian climate. Luckily, these trees are known to be very well behaved and easy to look after.

  • River Birch (Betula Nigra) – The River Birch is quite a tall tree, capable of reaching up to around ten metres tall. It grows relatively fast, with thick, glossy, dark leaves. The River Birch tolerates heat and moderate draught quite well, making it perfect for the hotter areas of Australia. It also does well in wet climates, so it is quite a tolerant tree.
  • Pendula (Pyrus Salicifolia) – This tree, which grows to approximately four metres in height, is a great screening tree that also adds contrast to gardens. This is quite a tough tree, able to tolerate all soil types, especially dry soils. Similar in appearance to Weeping Willows, the Pendula does particularly well in full sun, making it a great choice for hot, sunny backyards.
  • Trident Maple (Acer Buergerianum) – The Trident Maple is a slow to medium growth, with beautiful autumn foliage and plenty of shade for the warmer months. It can grow quite large, up to six metres high and as much wide, and prefers well-drained acid soils. The Trident Maple is quite tolerant to a number of influences, such as air-pollution, semi-drought conditions, and infertile soils. Due to its well established structure, the Trident Maple is also tolerant to heavy winds.
  • Persian Ironwood (Parrotia Persica) – Part of the Hamamelidaceae family, this seven metre tall tree’s young foliage has a beautiful bronze tinge, which then matures to a lush green. Throughout Autumn, expect to see splashes of orange, red, and brown leaves. Once established, the Persian Ironwood will tolerate low levels of drought, heat, and wind, and is virtually disease and pest free. Hot winds may make the leaves curl at their edges, but this is not harmful to the tree itself.
  • Okame Cherry (Prunus Okame) – This tree originates from Japan and is recognised for its eye catching cherry blossom flowers. The Okame Cherry grows up to four metres tall, making it great for small gardens. It is sustainable due to its adaptable nature. This tree prefers moist, well-drained soils, but does very well in full sun.
  • Bottlebrush or King’s Park Special (Callistemon) – The common Bottlebrush tree is a great screening tree that requires little to no maintenance. This tree reacts well to pruning and cutting back, and is adaptable to a wide range of soil types. The Bottlebrush loves full sun and is a fast grower, seeing heights of up to five metres tall. The tree is distinguished by its bright red flowers.
  • Jacaranda (Jacaranda Mimosifolia) – Commonly seen blanketed in purple-blue flowers, the Jacaranda is a tall tree that is native to Brazil. This deciduous tree makes for fabulous shade if planted in the right location. It’s strongly advised to avoid planting a Jacaranda near a swimming pool as its flowers will clog up the pool filter. The Jacaranda thrives well in hot temperatures, and can even survive low frosts. This tree is relatively low maintenance, and pruning is not advised as it may ruin its natural shape.
  • Frangipani (Plumeria) – The Frangipani is a distinct flowering tree that can grow up to four metres in height. It is native to South America, Mexico, and the West Indies, but certain varieties have been allowed to be imported into Australia, including the Plumeria Obtusifolia. Frangipanis are often bought by colour, and do very well in warm coastal towns. They can be grown inland in areas susceptible to frost, however they will need to be planted in a spot that has full sun and some protection from the frost eg: near a wall.
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