Do you know your lily pilly from your crepe myrtle? Our quick guide to common trees provides a planting guide.

It’s worth doing your research to choose the tree with the best features for your position. Trees can live for generations and will change as they grow. Consider your future privacy and shade needs, and check mature tree size to avoid growing into powerlines.

Glamorous Jacarandas

Jacarandas look spectacular with their spreading canopies and purple blooms. But growing up to 15 metres tall, they only suit large yards. Like all trees, they also require maintenance to clean up after leaf and petal drop.

Deciduous dudes

Deciduous trees provide summer shade and let in the light and warmth during winter when they lose their leaves. Some, like pistachio and crepe myrtle trees, also have stunning autumn leaf colour. Evergreen trees, like port wine magnolias and the cheese tree, retain their foliage year round.

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Busy bodies

To attract birds and bees, pick banksias and water gums, or to screen out neighbours go for fast growing bushy plants like Murraya and lily pilly. Productive trees like citrus have the bonus of delicious fruit, while tropical hibiscus and classic camellias can add colour features brightening up gardens and outdoor spaces.

Pot friends

Small trees like the NSW Christmas bush and Gordonia can be grown in pots. Select large pots with adequate drainage holes. Plant using good quality potting mix and remember to water and fertilise regularly. If positioning on a veranda, check structural integrity as they can get heavy when filled with soil and watered – and don’t forget to check our tips for growing trees in pots.

For the tree giveaway, we have specifically selected species that will thrive in Sydney’s conditions. Check if you need approval to plant on your property, get planting and enjoy watching your tree grow. If you’d like a tree planted in a street or park, contact us. We will assess the site and do the tree planting and maintenance.

Belinda Thackeray

This advice was generously provided by Belinda Thackeray. Belinda is a horticulturist and educator with a passion for nurturing, productive and sustainable environments. Working as the City Farm project manager, Belinda is developing spaces and programs to connect urban people with agriculture. She spends her spare time at home growing an abundance of food for her family.

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