Arrowleft.gif (944 bytes) Back to Fact Sheets Contents Page                                                                           Fact Sheet 12

Trees Suitable for the Central Coast 

Growing trees in your garden will add beauty and character. A good choice will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. Trees are an important part of the visual landscape of your neighbourhood. 

  • A wide variety of trees are available to suit every property size.
  • Select carefully, as trees should be allowed to grow to their full potential without ugly lopping and trimming.
  • Nurseries now stock a range of dwarf forms suitable for growing in small areas or containers.
  • Rainforest trees are becoming popular in the garden because they grow smaller and more compact than the giants we see in the rainforest. They offer good shade, attractive flowers and fruits and colourful new growth. However, they do like the deeper, rich soils of the valleys for best results.
  • Eucalypts are an essential part of the Australian scene. Unfortunately, changed growing conditions have unfairly earned them a doubtful reputation. A tree that has developed in a forest, and then is suddenly exposed by clearing, may be more susceptible to wind damage or branch failure. When clearing, retain trees in groups where possible.

 

Trees will provide -

  • shade & shelter for recreation,
  • privacy screens and wind protection,
  • part of the natural ecology that reduces the need for chemical control by attracting birds and other wildlife which feed on the unwanted pests,
  • homes for wildlife- old trees that have developed hollows are extremely important for nesting birds and animals and should be kept if possible.

Site conditions

  • Gardeners who live on the sandstone ridge tops will have much different soil conditions from those on the slopes and in the valleys.

Ridgetop gardens

  • These sandstone soils can be quite shallow, dry and open to strong winds.
  • A well mulched garden with plenty of added compost will improve these soils.
  • Lower growing species such as mallees, some hakeas and casuarinas will do best.
  • Plants will benefit from being placed in groups, eg. Small trees with bushy shrubs.

Slopes and open forestsOpen Forests.gif (5146 bytes)

  • Usually these soils are deeper and retain more moisture than the ridge tops and will support larger trees.
  • Some wind protection may be needed.

 

Valleys and sheltered slopes

  • Soils are moist, deeper and hold more nutrients.
  • They are home to the larger eucalypts and rainforest trees.

Coastal areas

  • Coastal areas are explained in Fact Sheet 4 titled Coastal Plants.
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Points to consider before making your selection

Soil- enough area is needed for the tree to develop a root system to support the tree of your choice.

Roots- check the proximity to foundations, pathways and drainage systems. (See Fact Sheet No. 10)

 

Size- consider the potential height of a tree and plant it at least that far away from any buildings e.g. a tree that grows to 10 metres needs to be planted 10-20 metres away from any building.

Neighbours- roots and branches do not recognise man-made boundaries.

Life span-  some fast growing trees can have a fairly short life span.

Mature size- Take care not to over plant your garden with young trees without considering their mature size.

Choosing a plant

  • Choose a plant that is sturdy with a straight stem, a good colour and is not showing signs of being root bound in the pot.
  • Smaller plants usually adapt to a new site better than more mature plants.
  • State Forest Nurseries stock a large range of local species.
  • It helps to note the type of trees growing in your area that are looking strong and healthy.

Soil preparation and planting

  1. Good drainage is essential.
  2. Clay soils can be improved with added compost or one of the commercial products that are available.
  3. Sandy soils will need added compost (well rotted) to retain the moisture.
  4. Dig the hole at least 3 times the width of the pot.
  5. Fill hole with water and allow to drain away. Slow draining means more treatment is necessary.
  6. Before planting out, thoroughly wet the potted plant by placing it in a bucket of water until the air bubbles have stopped.
  7. Finally, water the plant in well and mulch the surface keeping the stem of the plant clear to prevent collar rot.

Caring for your trees

  1. A light pruning when young will help to develop a good shape.
  2. Seasonal applications of an organic fertiliser will keep the tree healthy.
  3. Keep the grass at least 1 metre away from the tree trunk to avoid grass cutter damage.
  4. Place a layer of mulch under the tree.
  5. Avoid soil compaction over roots, caused by foot or vehicle traffic, as this can ‘suffocate’ the tree.
  6. Avoid major changes to the natural water source. Altered drainage works or a leaking pool could severely harm an established tree.

Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council tree preservation

  • Check with your local council before removing any branches or trees. However, you do not need permission to remove a dead tree.

  • Your local council will also provide you with a list of undesirable species, such as camphor laurel, which may be removed without council permission.

 

Fact Sheet 12     "Trees Suitable for Central Coast"     has four more pages containing a wealth of information in table form.

Some of the plants on the following tables may only be available
at specialist native nurseries.

          Click on the table of your choice

  • Table A  Trees suitable for containers
  • Table B  Trees less than 10 metres
  • Table C  Trees 10 to 20 metres
  • Table D  Trees larger than 20 metres
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Produced by the Australian Plants Society, Central Coast Group in conjunction with
Gosford City Council and Wyong Shire Council.