A selection of fantastic native trees that are the best for Brisbane gardens.

New suburbs in Australian capital cities are experiencing the decline of the shady backyard tree. The ABC News has reported new suburbs to have a ‘Tree Phobia’ and warning over ‘heat island’ effect in cities as tree coverage declines Read More Here.

The backyard tree has been declining due to there being less space to plant trees. This has been caused by house sizes taking up the majority of the room on the lot. The Brisbane Times recently reported that Brisbane’s city policy to ‘protect the Brisbane Backyard is Failing’ Read More Here.

More than ever, it is so important to do our part as homeowners and plant a tree in the backyard (or front yard, I don’t mind!). The following is the #1 list for the best native trees for Brisbane Gardens.

Little evodia

Image Source: ANBG (1)

 

1.  Melicope rubra (Little Evodia) 
Small Tree

The Little Evoida is a fantastic bird attracting tree with addictive nectar flowers that grow unusually along the tree branches.

This tree is 4m(H) x 3m(w) and grows in full sun to part shade.

Little Evoida is one of the best native trees for a small Brisbane garden.

    2. Syzgium hemilampra (Broad-leaved Lilly Pilly) 
    Small Tree

    Broad-leaved Lilly Pilly has lovely broad emerald leaves with orange to yellow new growth. It is generally a narrow growing tree that is perfect for a small garden.

    This tree is 8m(H) x 3m(W) and grows in full sun to part shade.

    The Broad-leaved Lilly Pilly is one of the best native trees for a small Brisbane garden.

    acmena-hemilampra

    Image Source: Australian Plants Online (2)

    blueberry-ash

    Image Source: Australian Plant Society NSW (3)

    3.  Elaeocarpus reticulatus ‘Prima Donna’ (Blueberry Ash)
    Small Tree 

    Blueberry ash has the most dainty flowers that look like dancing ballerinas. This tree is a beautiful tree that can also be clipped to form a hedge.

    This tree is 4m(H) x 3m(W) and grows in full sun.

    The Blueberry Ash is one of the best native trees for a small Brisbane garden.

    4. Atractocarpus fitzalanii (Native Gardenia)
    Small to Medium Tree

    Native Gardenia has the most wonder scented flowers during spring. It usually flowers in October, my birthday month, so it makes me feel like nature is giving me a gift for my Birthday!

    The flowers are also bee-friendly, brining native and honey bees to your garden. During moonlight, the flowers glow on the tree, an excellent site to see.

    This tree is 5m(H) x 4m(W) and grows in full sun to shade.

    The Native Gardenia is one of the best native trees for a small Brisbane garden.

    native-gardenia

    Image Source: Oxley Nursery (4)

    hibiscus-rubra

    Image Source: Andreasens Green Wholesale Nurseries (5)

    5.  Hibiscus tiliaceus ‘Rubra’ (Red Cottonwood Tree)
    Small to Medium Tree 

    Red Cottonwood Tree is our subtropical version of the stunning purple European trees (Forest Pansy Tree in particular). I use this tree for a feature tree for its heart-shaped purple leaves.

    This tree can also be clipped as a screening hedge.

    This tree is 5m(H) x 3.5m(W) and grows in full sun to part shade.

    The Red Cottonwood Tree is one of the best native trees for a small to medium Brisbane gardens.

    6. Harpullia pendula (Tulipwood)
    Medium Tree

    The Tulipwood tree is a lovely green shade tree with soft leaves that create movement in the breeze. I have this tree in my garden underplanted with shade-loving tropical plants.

    This tree is 6m(H) x 4m(W) and grows in full sun.

    The Tulipwood is one of the best native trees for a small to medium Brisbane gardens.

    harpullia pendula

    Image Source: Australian Plants Online (6)

    Tristaniopsis-laurina-Luscious

    Image Source: Andreasens Green Wholesale Nurseries (7)

    7.  Tristaniopsis ‘Luscious’ (Water Gum)
    Medium Tree 

    Water Gum is the native alternative for the exotic Magnolia with large shiny leaves. This tree also has attractive white mottled bark.

    This tree is 7m(H) x 5m(W) and grows in full sun or part shade.

    Water Gum is one of the best native trees for a medium Brisbane garden.

    8.  Pandanus tectorius (Pandanus)
    Medium Tree 

    The Pandanus is a beautiful shade tree to use for coastal, tropical or arid garden designs.

    This tree is 4-12m(H) x 3-5m(W) and grows in full sun or part shade.

    Pandanus is one of the best native trees for a medium Brisbane garden.

    pandanus tectorius

    Image Source: ANPS (8)

    tuckeroo

    Image Source: Plants Today (9)

    9.  Cupaniopsis anacardioides (Tuckeroo)
    Medium to Large Tree 

    Tuckeroo is one of the most hardy trees for the garden and suits all soil types. It is an excellent shade tree and suits most garden themes, especially native themes.

    I use this tree in challenging places like car parks as it is so reliable.

    This tree is 5-8m(H) x 5-7m(W) and grows in full sun. You can clip the tree to keep it a smaller tree.

    The Tuckeroo is one of the best native trees for a medium Brisbane garden.

    10.  Waterhousea floribunda (Weeping Lilly Pilly)
    Medium to Large Tree 

    The Weeping Lilly Pilly is a great shade and screening tree. The soft leaves weep down to create a beautiful and delicate looking tree.

    This tree is 10m(H) x 8m(W) and grows in full sun to partly shady. You can clip the tree to keep it 5mx5m tree or clip it to be a screening hedge.

    The Weeping Lilly Pilly is one of the best native trees for medium to large Brisbane gardens.

    waterhousia-floribunda

    Image Source: Ellenby Tree Farm (10)

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    Image References

    1) Australian Native Plants Society. Melicope rubra. 2016. http://anpsa.org.au/e-mue.html

    2) Australian Plants Online. Acmena hemilampra – blush satinash. 2013-2021. https://www.australianplantsonline.com.au/acmena-hemilampra.html

    3) Australian Plants Society NSW. Elaeocarpus reticulatus, Blueberry Ash. 2020. https://austplants.com.au/Elaeocarpus-reticulatus-Blueberry-Ash

    4) Oxley Nursery. Native Gardenia. 2020. https://www.oxleynursery.com.au/plant-profiles/trees/native-gardenia/

    5) Andreasens Green Wholesale Nurseries. Hibiscus tiliaceus ‘Rubra’. 2021. https://andreasensgreen.com.au/product/hibiscus-tiliaceus-rubra/

    6) Australian Plants Online. Harpullia pendula – Tulipwood. 2021. https://www.australianplantsonline.com.au/harpullia-pendula-tulipwood.html

    7) Andreasens Green Wholesale Nurseries. Tristaniopsis laurina ‘DOW10’ PBR Luscious. 2021. https://andreasensgreen.com.au/product/tristaniopsis-laurina-dow10-pbr-luscious/

    8) Australian Native Plants Society. Pandanus tectorius. 2016. http://anpsa.org.au/p-tec.html

    9) Plants Today. Cupaniopsis anacardioides. 2021. https://www.plantstoday.com.au/products/cupaniopsis-anacardioides?variant=31859745095758

    10) Ellenby Tree Farm. Waterhousia floribunda ‘Weeping Lilly Pilly’. 2015. http://ellenbytreefarm.com/products/waterhousia-floribunda-weeping-lilly-pily

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    Eva Porter

    Eva Porter is the founder and director of Porter Designs a landscape architecture design studio. She has a bachelor of design with honours, majoring in Landscape Architecture. Eva is a Registered Landscape Architect with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). She is also a director on the national board of the Australian Institute of Landscape Designers & Managers (AILDM), helping to shape the industry nationally. Eva is also an award winning entrepreneur locally and regionally.

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