weeping lily pily

Selecting The Right Tree For Your Residential Garden: Part 1


I think that we can all agree that trees are extremely beneficial. Trees clean the air, cool your home, reduce stress, improve biodiversity and increase street appeal. But how do you go about selecting the right tree for your residential landscape?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect tree for your landscape design in perth. We recommend contemplating the following:

  • The Purpose:
    Consider why you want a tree and what problem are you trying to solve. Perhaps you are looking to create shade, privacy, a focal point or would simply like to enjoy the fruit that some trees produce.
  • Mature Size:
    It is essential to consider the final height and canopy spread of the mature tree to prevent overcrowding, interference with overhead powerlines or contact with existing gutters and other structures.
  • Root System:
    Just like the canopy itself, a tree’s root system will grow and develop over time, some more extensively than others. Tree species such as Jacaranda mimosifolia are notorious for lifting/cracking paving as well as blocking drains and sewers. Always check the vicinity to your hardscape and underground services to avoid possible expensive complications in the future.
  • Soil Conditions:
    Whilst soil improvements can and must be made, it is best to select a tree suited to your existing site soil. Your existing soil may contain high amounts of clay, rock, or simply be very sandy, thus repelling water. The PH and salt levels of soil are also very important and must be taken into account.
  • Site Exposure and Climate:
    Consider the tree’s tolerance to sun, shade, wind and both drought and frosty conditions. Hot, dry weather can weaken the limbs of select tree species, increasing the probability of falling branches.

Evergreen or Deciduous:
Depending upon the characteristics of your home and landscape you will most likely want to incorporate both a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees. Each have slightly different care and maintenance requirements that should be considered (and will be explored further in this article).

Are you finding the tree selection process a little overwhelming or time consuming? Never fear – our expert in-house landscape designers and horticulturalist can assist you with the process of selecting the ideal tree for your home. During our on-site initial design or horticulture consultations we work with you, considering the factors noted above (and many more) to ensure that the best possible tree is selected and installed, giving you peace of mind.

Contact our office today on (08) 9493 1000 to book or find out more about our horticulture and landscape design consultations.


Evergreen trees, as their name suggests, retain leaves all year round. However, contrary to popular belief evergreen trees do lose leaves, with each tree losing its leaves gradually and not all at once.

Ellenby Tree Farm, Western Australia’s leading tree farm stocking a wide range of evergreen trees, with species suitable for every residential application. Below is a list of some of our favourite tried and tested evergreen trees, available from their local retail nursery.

Citrus limon ‘Eureka’ (Eureka Lemon)

The Eureka lemon is an excellent small residential tree. Unlike most other cultivars of lemon, the Eureka tree is thornless.

As an added bonus, the tree produces an abundance of smooth skinned fruit all year round, with production peaking at the height of summer. Regular applications of fertiliser are required in order to keep fruit production plentiful. It is essential to ensure that your slow release fertiliser contains trace elements such as potassium, calcium and iron.

The ‘Eureka’ lemon is the largest of the lemon cultivars, reaching up to five meters tall with a four-meter canopy when fully mature. Look out for dwarfing forms (one of the best trees for pots) and also the newly released seedless form.

Eucalyptus caesia ‘Silver Princess’ (Silver Princess Gum)

The Silver Princess Gum is a Western Australian native that makes for an excellent ornamental tree with its stunning weeping foliage. Pink-red flowers with yellow anthers bloom in late Winter to early Spring, creating a colour contrast against the silver foliage and attracting local nectar-eating birds.

The Eucalyptus grows in full sun, requiring well-drained soil and protection from the wind, but is drought resistant and needs little ongoing maintenance. It can grow to eight metres in height with a four-metre canopy.

Agonis flexuosa (Weeping Peppermint)

The Weeping Peppermint is a popular tree for lining streets in suburban areas as it is highly tolerant and low maintenance. It is a medium sized tree which creates a dome shaped canopy due to its weeping nature, producing white, tea-tree style flowers in the Spring.

The Agonis requires full sun and well-drained soil, but will endure some dry conditions, only requiring a single light feed each year in early Spring with a phosphorous-free fertiliser. It grows to twelve metres in height with weeping dome-shaped canopy spreading up to eight metres.

Magnolia grandiflora ‘St Mary’ (St Mary Magnolia)

The St Mary Magnolia is relatively quick growing, meaning that it is one the the very best screening trees if planted in rows. It produces white flowers in the warmer months, and its dense growth can be maintained by pruning.

The Magnolia grows in full sun to partial shade, preferring well-drained, slightly acidic soil and fertilising in both Autumn and Spring. It can grow to six metres in height with a four-metre canopy.

Waterhousea floribunda ‘Sweeper’ (Weeping Lily Pily)

The Weeping Lily Pily responds well to pruning, making it suitable for use both as a feature tree, or as screening.

New growth is slightly pink in colour and turns green as it matures, while small white flowers blossom in the Summer. The Waterhousea ‘Sweeper’ cultivar is a selection that has much tighter growth than the normal form.

It grows in full sun to partial shade and is tolerant of most soils. Like many trees, it will thrive with slow release fertiliser applied in Spring. It can grow to eight metres in height with a five-metre canopy.

Melaleuca quinquinervia (Broad Leaf Paperbark)

The Broad Leaf Paperbark is suitable for larger gardens, featuring a pale orange-brown bark that peels and resembles paper. It has dark leaves with flowers that range from creamy white through to pink, blooming in Autumn and Winter.

The Melaleuca is a very tolerant tree, suitable for both wet and dry conditions. It can grow up to eight metres in height with a six-metre canopy.

Coymbia ficifolia ‘Summer Red’ (Flowering Gum)

The Flowering Gum features dark green foliage and red flowers that bloom in Summer. The selection of grafted tree stock means that the flower colour is already known, preventing any unwelcome surprises.

Being a variety of gum, it is ideal for large gardens in full sun with well-drained soil. It establishes quickly but use of a native fertiliser in early Spring will really help it to thrive.

The Coymbia can grow up to five metres in height with a four-metre canopy, however planting in clay soil should be avoided.

Cupaniopsis anacardioides (Tuckeroo)

The Tuckeroo is an excellent choice for low maintenance coastal gardens. Its dense growth can be encouraged with pruning, making it ideal for street, feature, screening and windbreak applications. The cream flowers in Autumn are attractive to bees, followed by bright orange ornamental fruit in the Spring.

The Cupaniopsis establishes quickly and has a non-invasive root system, preferring sunny to partial shaded areas with free-draining soil, and slow-release native fertiliser during Spring. It is drought-resistant and can grow to eight metres high with a seven-metre canopy.

Look out for part 2 of our article to be released next week, where we will explore popular deciduous and semi-deciduous tree species suitable for use in your Perth residential garden.

Contact details, as well as links to the Ellenby Tree Farm website can be found below.

Phone: (08) 9405 4558
Email: info@ellenbytreefarm.com.au
Retail Nursery Address: 439 Sydney Road, Gnangara, W.A. 6077
Website: http://ellenbytreefarm.com/

Note: images contained in this blog post are actual photos of Ellenby Tree Farm stock taken by Luke’s Landscaping Co.

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