Downsizing? Trees for smaller spaces
There are trees – native and exotic – that are suited to smaller gardens.
Here are 10 suggestions, selected because they are long-lived, easy to grow and manage, not too messy, and can tolerate dry periods and heavy rain and humidity.
All should be planted at least 4m from pipes, paving and retaining walls.
Heights are approximate because soil type of can affect tree growth – generally the richer and deeper the soil, the taller the tree.
- Magnolia Little Gem and other small magnolia varieties, 4-6m.
- Tibouchina Alstonville and Noeline, 3-4m.
- Bottlebrush or Callistemon (Melaleuca viminalis varieties and var. Harkness, 4m.
- Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus), 3m.
- Eucalyptus Summer Red and Summer Beauty (E.ficifolia hybrids) small, pretty flowers, 4m)
- Tropical birch (Betula nigra), 4m.
- Poached-egg tree (Gordonia axillaris), 5m.
- Orchid/Butterfly tree (Bauhinia variegata), 3m.
- Ivory Curl (Buckinghamia celsissima), will need trimming, 3-4m.
- Blueberry Ash or Ballerina bush (Elaeocarpus reticulatus “Prima Donna”) 4m.
Dig a big, square hole and loosen the soil at the base, especially if it is clay or shale, to help roots spread out.
A tree with strong, well-developed roots is a tree that will live long, stand straight and survive gale-force winds.
Put a shallow trench around the planted tree to hold water. Mulch well after watering.
Water the young tree once a day for the first week, every other day for the second week, twice a week after that. More, if weather is very hot and dry.
After the first year it should have its roots well down and need very little watering except in dry weather.
Fertilise in the first year or so with an application of good compost or blood and bone in late spring and late summer.
Prune for shape when young if desired but always do this evenly for balance.
The branches that support the canopy must be reasonably even all the way around or the tree will not only look odd but be vulnerable to strong winds.
If large branches need trimming when the tree is mature, for example if they overhang infrastructure, then employ a qualified arborist.
Autumn Show for orchid lovers
The Sunshine Coast Orchid Society will host its annual Autumn Show on April 7-8.
Societies from all over the Sunshine Coast will be participating to show the results of their dedication to this interesting pastime.
There will be plant sales , talks, expert advice, books and supplies from Orchidaceous Supplies, refreshments, floral art and chances to win some great flowering plants.
The Sunshine Coast Orchid Society Autumn Show will be held at the Uniting Church Hall, at the corner of Queen and Ulm Sts, Caloundra.
For further information call5437 3199 or 5493 5810.