Small to Medium Shade Trees For Your Garden

Trees form the framework of your garden. They are so valuable for creating shade, especially in newly built suburbs, where lack of planning at the development stage has left little in the way of street trees. Time to get planting to get some shade at your place.   Here’s some suggestions for small to medium sized trees for your garden.

Magnolia Little gem – Dwarf form of Magnolia grandiflora, these deep green trees are beautiful year round. Flowers intermittently throughout the year down in the Southwest and can grow 4-7m tall. Excellent hedging or screening tree and responds really well to clipping.

Olives – Olives are perfect for this part of the world. They grow quickly and tolerate many conditions. They look lovely interplanted amongst other trees contrasting with shrubs and trees of varying shades of green.  Plus, you get olives

Claret Ash  – This one grows 6- 12m quickly. Foliage emerges in spring time a beautiful green colour. It then turns a beautiful claret colour in Autumn

Evergreen Ash – Small tree with glossy green foliage. Is evergreen, but really greens up and bushes out in the warmer months

Trident Maple – Grows 6-10m with a super interesting, 3 lobed, ivy shaped foliage. Colours up beautifully in Autumn. Bark has character too, it flakes and peels as it grows, leaving a splotchy appearance.

Chinese Pistachio – Can grow to 8m, this tree has a classic round shape and displays beautiful Autumn colours. Tolerates dry, sandy soils too.

Japanese Maple Green Japanese Maple is a graceful, small tree that grows 4-6m. Likes a bit of a sheltered spot, perhaps a courtyard, or a backyard that is protected, but in full sun/ part shade. The green Japanese Maples, start out green and then go on to have Autumn colours. The green Japanese Maple, out of all of the Japanese Maples in our experience, handles our hot, dry summers the best.

David’s Maple – an unusual Maple that has a distinct, striated bark that starts out red and turns into green and white.

Silver Birch Plant as a single tree, or in a copse of 3 or 5. Silver birches are a small to medium tree that look great all year round. The bark turns white and peels, as it ages, giving it real charm and character. The foliage, is small and dainty looking and is lovely fluttering in the breeze in Summer time.

 

 

 

Cool Your Home – Choosing Trees for Shade

shade trees

Cool Your Home with Trees

Is your street hot? Are you living in an area that is suffering from the Urban Heat Island Effect and craving some shade? Don’t just put up a patio or shade sails, plant more trees!  The best trees for shade to cool down your home are those massive trees planted 50+years ago. You know, those large n leafy Jacarandas, and Plane trees plus others that line leafy suburbs, growing more than 15m+ and usually found in older areas close to the city or town centres in surrounding parks and gardens, sucking up urban pollution and creating cool patches around the city. – But this isn’t practical for our small plots of land that have been taken over by large houses. We care way too much about tree roots getting into the plumbing and cracked retaining walls.

And fair enough, but we really need to do something to counteract the rising temps in our suburbs. Something that probably should have been addressed at the pre-development level by local shires, now rests in our hands. We’ve got to be planting more trees.

Aside from uncomfortable rise in temps in the suburbs, there’s the huge environmental impact as we use more energy to cool homes, there’s less biodiversity in our urban areas, and associated health problems with more heat related deaths.  Plus, the mental aspect – we’re just happier living amongst trees.

We’re still suffering from the hangover of those  ‘low maintenance’ gardens thrust upon us from early 2000. You know those gardens thrown together using  grassy, spiky yuccas and cordylines, flax and dianellas. While these plants are very easy to look after and quite drought tolerant, they quickly look scraggly if not kept up and they don’t really encourage the birds and insects into the backyard, or provide much shade. Yes, they were a low maintenance, hard to kill type of garden, so we could focus on the important stuff like buying all the latest mod cons and toys for our larger homes. But now the burbs are heating up and we need to remedy this by creating shade back into our gardens.

Here’s a list of trees that you could use to create more shade in the garden

Large Shrubs  

Great for smaller blocks, these large shrubs can grow into small shade creating trees.

Large shrubs can be quite useful for creating shade. Plant different varieties with trees and you’ll have lots of local wildlife like birds, bees and lizards making a home in your garden – creating a little microclimate for these little guys.

Hibiscus cottonwood – used a lot in landscaping projects all over the place. It likes living in our corner of the world and grows quickly.

Viburnums -Very versatile large shrubs. We usually have a few varieties growing. Can grow in the full sun. Or in the shade. Great for those narrow areas down the side of the house.

Syzygium -Lilly Pilly – Bush Christmas can grow up to 4m, creating a beautiful, evergreen little tree for shade that small birds, like the Blue Wren, make homes in as it has dense foliage.

Magnolia Little Gem – Chunky, white flowers year round, this is the small version of the huge 20m+ Magnolia grandiflora. These are a very adapatable small tree that can be planted in the sun and in shade.

Bottle Brush – WA favourite, fast growing, big beautiful flowrs and they can be grown in wide range of soil types and sun and shade positions.

Grevillea – Enjoy these year round, Grevilleas are really easy to grow. Fast growing and bird and bee attracting, as many are long flowering.

Crepe Myrtle – This is one of our favourites here at Lakeside. In the heat of summer, Crepe Myrtle will dazzle you with its vibrant flowers. Leave as a large shrub or train into a multi stemmed tree. Spectacular flowers in the heat of summer. Long flowering. Well suited to our climate. Can grow 3m – 7m depending on variety.

Small – Medium Sized Trees 

 Agonis flexuosa – Peppy Trees – native to our Southwest area, these trees are very easy to grow and the local, wildlife likes them too.

Chinese Elm – classic deciduous tree with an interesting shape. Quick to grow and easy care.

Gleditsia There are  3 types. Ruby Lace, Sunburst and Shade Master – Quick growing, these trees put out a lovely shade canopy.

Chinese Tallow very popular deciduous tree that does very well in Western Australia’s hot and sunny climate. Chinese Tallow is fast growing and displays gorgeous Autumn colours.

Evergreen Ash – Lovely small tree with dense, evergreen foliage. Use these as tree row against a fence with shrubs planted underneath.

Silver Birch  – this deciduous tree has a gorgeous stark white character trunk that cracks with age and contrasts beautifully with small, dainty green foliage.

Flowering Plums – add one of these to your garden for a splash of red/purple.

Cercis – American Redbud or Forest Pansy – a beautiful small tree with heart shaped leaves.

Ornamental Pear – there’s a few different choices when it comes to this tree. Choose one that suits your block. They range from column shaped, upright tree shape to more of a traditional pyramid shaped tree. All display autumn colours.

Olive Trees – grow 6-10m. Can be kept clipped and are easy to grow, plus you get olives!

Large Trees

Pick these trees if you’ve got some room for the canopy and roots to grow. These are big, beautiful shade giving trees.

Jacaranda – everyone’s favourite tree that flowers in late Spring and Summer. Creates a gorgeous shady canopy

Tipuanu Tipu – fast growing tree with fern like foliage. Also has a nice canopy for shade

London Plane – elegant and grand, these trees can grow quite large.

Brachychiton – big leaves that stay most of the year, followed by bright red flowers.

Alford Blaze  – this oriental plane tree produces fiery red foliage in Autumn.

Claret Ash – Lovely tree with soft, handsome foliage that turns a deep claret colour in Autumn

Liquid Amber – well known large tree with large, colourful autumn foliage. Quick to grow

 

 

tree rows

Come and check out our tree nursery or get in touch with us if you’re after a specific tree for your backyard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Screening Plants for Privacy

red Cottonwood Hibiscus - good screening plant
Help! We need some very quick growing trees to plant around our fenceline for privacy -  We've just moved into our new home and everything is bare – our neighbours are constantly watching us from over the fence?  What do you suggest??

This is one of our most common requests – You are looking for the best screening plants for privacy from your neighbours. Something fast growing, but low maintenance plant (who doesn’t?) to hide an ugly fence, or soften hard-scaping such as a fence or retaining wall,  for privacy from your nosy neighbours and even the rest of the street .

A good solution is to plant small trees or large shrubs or a combination of both. A row or hedge of the one plant or tree is nice and simple and creates a uniform look.  You could also plant different  shrubs and trees that overlap for a windbreak or sound barrier which also encourages biodiversity for local wildlife, including beneficial insects and native birds.

Your garden beds need to be as wide as you can make them for trees and shrubs to be happy and healthy. If you don’t have the space – climbing plants can be the better option. Try a few well mannered climbers like Chinese Star Jasmine or Dipladenia –  (plant both of these together, they look stunning!)  and you’ll achieve a quick (and great looking) screen as they clamber upward toward the light. Both are tough enough to climb up steel patio/pergola structures in the hot summer sun.

Fast Growing Shrubs

A word on fast growing  – it’s often the case that fast growing means more maintenance – the quicker it grows, the more it’ll need a haircut.  Fast growing also often means a larger tree, which may not be suitable for those with smaller blocks.  Something to keep in mind when selecting your screening plant – perhaps, depending on budget of course, you could plant, a more advanced, slower growing variety.

Here’s a list of shrubs and trees that we have growing in the nursery that we consider good screening plants for privacy.  Use these as a hedge row, or plant them mix and match to encourage biodiversity. These work around the Southwest area, if you’re in Bunbury, and Perth.  We often have these available in a small, medium and large size pots to suit your requirements.

Best Screening Plants For Privacy

Viburnum Emerald Jewel – This Viburnum is a large shrub, growing up to around 3m with large, leathery leaves. Creates a dense hedge or screen.

Viburnum Emerald Lustre Big glossy foliage – fast growing and can grow 3-4m. Good for those narrower areas, or along a fence line. Likes full sun and can tolerate a wide variety of conditions. 

Viburnum tinus – This is one of those old fashioned, classic shrubs that has withstood the test of time. Viburnum tinus is slower to grow than other Viburnums – meaning less maintenance for you! and it keeps its shape quite nicely as it grows.  These are also covered in clusters of brilliant white flowers in Winter – Spring. Grows well in both full sun and shade, so if you’re wanting to plant an area that is both sunny and shady, this is a great choice.

Hibiscus tiliaceous cottonwood – (pictured above) best selling plant, selected for its beautiful burgundy and green, heart shaped foliage with bright yellow flowers year round. It’s quite a vigorous plant, quick growing, providing a good size screen. Tolerates windy, and coastal conditions quite well.

Olives – are quite fast growing and make a good screen, with the bonus of fruit.  you could leave them  to bush out or plant them in a row, training them with a small trunk – called pleaching, or a hedge on legs.

Port wine magnolia – this shrub has the most divine, bubblegum like scent. These are slow to moderate growers, but worth the wait. The flowers are small, but the fragrance is divine.

Syzygium – Bush Christmas –  – these grow 4m if left unpruned. Quick growing with Winter red new growth, flowers in Summer, followed by small red (edible) berries in Autumn, providing year round interest.

Magnolia Little Gem –  Dwarf form of Magnolia Grandiflora. Very tough plant, providing glossy foliage with large white flowers  year round. Drought tolerant once established.

Callistemon – Kings Park Special – Quick growing native shrub – bird attracting. These grow quickly with moderate watering and are drought tolerant once screen is established.

Grevillea olivacea red or Grevillea olivacea yellow – Another quick growing native shrub with dense, olive shaped foliage. Flowers are quite small, and this is mainly grown for its foliage – perfect for a screen! (will upload these to site soon)

Bamboo Multiplex – Clumping – Golden Goddess – Bamboo is a great idea for a screen. This clumping form of bamboo grows 3m x 3m and will stay neatly contained in your garden.

Upright Flowering Plum TreeThis tree is upright and can be used for narrow passages, or down a fenceline.

Evergreen Ash – smaller, evergreen tree with glossy leaves, growing to 4-6m. Looks great for added height. Plant larger shrubs underneath

Golden Cane Palm – this clumping palm can be used for screening, their dense, leafy fronds adding extra privacy.

Black Bamboo  – this is best kept in troughs as it’s a running variety. Grows well and is a great choice if you want a tall screen in a hurry. Give us a call for this plant, for price and availability.

 

 

 

Deciduous Trees for Smaller Urban Gardens

Prunus nigra Flowering Plum in the Garden

Trees for Small Gardens

There’s something special about Deciduous Trees. They tend to give a soft, romantic feel to any garden and many are relatively quick to grow. There is a real sense of seasonal definition as you observe their natural cycles –  bringing fabulous colours and textures in Autumn before shedding leaves by Winter, with Spring and Summer bringing beautiful blossoms and fresh foliage.    Planted for Summer shade, they provide a cooling effect in the home and garden, and in  Winter, when dormant, can let much needed sunlight into living areas providing natural warmth.  Many deciduous trees like flowering plums, silver birches and also Frangipanis provide an eye catching silhouette when planted with a fence or wall as a backdrop.

Here’s a small list of smaller trees growing in the Nursery. This list will be updated as we get new trees growing! If you’re after any tree in particular, contact us and we’ll see where if we can source it.  Have a look at this for Evergreen Trees for small urban gardens

 Acer palmatum – Japanese Maple

Gjapanese-maple-foliageraceful and elegant, the Green Japanese maple, has delicate green foliage with red tones  emerging in Spring, followed by lovely red Autumn colours. Japanese Maple is a small tree that soften the garden with  soft, feathery foliage.     Plant in a protected spot in the garden, away from hot sun and drying winds. In our experience, the Green Jap Maple is more robust compared to other Red Varieties.


Betula alba – Silver Birch

Silvsilver-birch-treeser Birch is a beautiful tree with small, dainty leaves that twinkle gracefully in the summer breeze. Has striking white bark in the winter time. Plant these in a copse of 3 or 5, you’ll achieve a naturalised look  which also has the benefit of  smaller tree growth.  Install some garden lights for a spectacular night time display – which will highlight the character of the white trunk.

Cercis canadensis – American Redbud

This is a lamerican-redbudovely, ornamental large shrub or small tree. Lots of gorgeous pink blossoms occur in Spring time, followed by sweet heart shaped foliage. This lovely small tree can grow multi-stemmed or into a single trunk to around 5m  tolerating a wide range of soil conditions – from sandy soils to clay, but  it will be happiest planted in improved, conditioned soil with adequate drainage.

 

Malus –  Ornamental Crab Apple

crab apple

Gorgeous Spring Blossoms on a lovely small tree with a spreading, fibrous root system. Can get to 4m.    Bears small mini apples used for making jams, but mostly used as a beautiful Spring flowering ornamental tree with spectacular Autumn foliage.   Crab Apples can help pollinate other fruiting apples as it has a long flowering period and produces lots of pollen.

 

 Lagerstroemia – Crepe Myrtle

lagerstroemia-crepe-myrtle

Brilliant summer show off with a long flowering period.  These small trees love the heat and sun and come in a range of spectacular colours. Grows approx to 4m – good for a small or narrow spaces. These are one of our favourite shrubs.

 

Plumeria – Frangipani

plumeria-flower

These have shallow, non invasive root systems, so can be planted near structures or near the pool area.  Thy don’t grow too big, but provide a good amount of summer shade when needed. When dormant without leaves, the large,  bare trunk adds scultptural interest in Winter time.

Prunus nigra –  Ornamental, Flowering Plum

Prunusprunus-nigra nigra is an ornamental small tree with a deep burgundy, purpley foliage that emerges in Spring with spectacular pink blossoms.  It makes a nice tree for smaller gardens, growing to around 5m. Looks great contrasting against shrubs and trees of varying shades of green or with a wall or fence as a backdrop.

 

 Prunus nigra fastigiata – Upright Flowering Plum

prunnigfastig

This upright, small tree has a natural column shape and is a great addition to an urban landscape. Use in narr

ow passages for a screen, along fence lines

or as a feature tree contrasting with other green foliage. Has gorgeous pink spring blossoms too!

 Pyrus ussuriensis – Manchurian Pear

manchurian-pear

This beautiful upright tree with masses of white blossoms in early Spring, glossy green foliage in Summer with gorgeous Autumn foliage.   Manchurian Pear is a tree growing to around 8-10m It’s often used as a feature tree, for street or avenue lining, screening/hedging or even pleaching – (which is a like a hedge on stilts)

Deciduous Fruit Trees

apple-tree

Apples, Apricots, Pears, Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, Nashi. All are considered small trees, all are very ornamental and productive as well! You can do lots with these. Have you ever tried to espalier

– ie training branches so they grow flat against a fence or a wire. Or simply keep them in pots?  You can even plant a few of them in the same hole which will keep them small.  We also have double grafted trees – for example, 2 varieties of apples grafted onto one rootstock.

Weeping Mulberry

Pendulweeping-mulberry-branchesous branches with large, glossy foliage and yummy berries in Spring time make this a garden favourite.  The tree produces small, delicious, sweet, berries that start out a light pink, turning red, before developing into a deep red/black colour.    A really nice, handsome feature tree with the bonus of berries!

 

Weeping Silver Birch

This elegant oweeping-silver-birchrnamental feature tree adds so much character. Its got striking white trunk contrasting with dainty foliage on weeping, pendulous branches.  Each year, it develops more branches, becoming fuller and wider and even more lovely.

Prune in summer or autumn for best results.

 

Chinese Tallow

Sapium SebiferumChinese tallow is a fast growing, deciduous tree that shows off its beautiful reddish, orange, purpley autumn colours, even in warmer coastal areas.   Quite a robust tree with a good growth rate,  Chinese tallow can grow up to 8m, which is considered a small tree. Chinese Tallow would make a lovely shade tree  – good for urban gardens.

 

Found anything you like here? Come and have a look if you’re not sure.

Evergreen Trees for Smaller Urban Gardens

Hymenosporum flavum Native Frangipani folige

So you’re searching for trees for that will provide shade and green up your small plot of land – you want evergreen foliage all year round, and a tree that keeps the same form and shape every year and season,  not deciduous – you’re not interested in cleaning up the leaf mess in Autumn and you simply don’t want to look at a bare tree without leaves – and you want a small tree cause you don’t want roots breaking up your brand new paving area or getting into the pipes.

Here’s a couple of things to consider –  did you know that Evergreens tend to shed and replace foliage throughout the year as opposed to deciduous trees that shed only once a year?  Evergreens tend to lose their leaves gradually, you don’t notice this happening, which leads to a common, general perception, that deciduous are messier than evergreens .

Also, Consider where you’re going to plant your tree. Trees are so important in a landscape, especially new housing subdivisions, where trees are quite non existent.  They provide your landscape infrastructure, or the ‘bones’ of the garden. They make little micro-climates where you can plant other shrubs in a sheltered spot, making a home for many insects, frogs, birds and lizards.  They cool your home, filter pollutants, provide oxygen, and create a great atmosphere.  Deciduous trees can be useful planted in the right spot – cooling your home from the hot summer sun and in winter, when dormant, can let the sunlight in, providing natural warmth.

When planning your garden, try larger shrubs and form them into a tree shape suitable for a small yard. There’s a couple featured below – like Callistemon, and Hibiscus Cottonwood and don’t forget to look at the ultimate Multi-tasking trees – like citrus and olives – These have shallow roots and are highly ornamental and deliciously productive!

This post is about Evergreen Trees. Why not have a look at Deciduous Trees for Smaller Urban Gardens.

Agonis flexuosa Peppermint tree

Agonis flexuosa Peppermint TreeA med sized tree growing to around 3-5m  – featuring pendulous, aromatic foliage, with pinkish coloured new growth.  Agonis flexuosa makes a lovely backdrop tree helping to soften the rest of the garden with it’s weeping habit.  Flowers occur in springtime and are a brilliant white.

Agonis Burgundy is  waterwise once established, however it will grow quicker with regular watering and improved soil.  Suitable uses would be for  screening or a wind break. Agonis are perfect for coastal gardens.

Ornamental Pears

These ever so lovely trees are a great option. Fast growing, with green glossy leaves that emerge after a show of beautiful Spring blossoms, followed by Red Autumn colours, there’s an ornamental pear to suit many situations. From upright column shaped trees, like the Capital Pear, to traditional Pyramid shaped trees like the Manchurian.


Fraxinus griffithi Evergreen Ash

evergreen-ash-foliageEvergreen Ash is a delightful shady, small tree, perfect for smaller gardens in amongst other trees or singly as a feature tree.

Plant in free draining, conditioned, moist, soil in full sun and you’ll be rewarded with a quick growing, shady, evergreen tree with handsome, glossy leaves. Can get to approx 6m.

 

Hymenosporum flavum – Native Frangipani

hymenosporum-flavum-flowersNative Frangipani are a great choice if you’re looking for an evergreen tree with sweet scented spring blossoms that vary from cream to yellow. They’re from the rainforest areas of Queensland and New South Wales, where they can grow to around 20m, but down this far South in WA, will grow into a small, upright tree not much more than 9 or 10 metres.  Not related at all to the the other Frangipanis that we are all familiar with  (Plumeria sp).

These trees prefer full sun, or part shade, with protection from strong winds.


Hibiscus tiliaceous – Cottonwood

red cottonwood hibiscusHibiscus tiliaceus rubra is a hugely popular, fast growing shrub with dense foliage from tropical Queensland and can get to approx 4-6m if left unpruned.  Does quite well this far South and can tolerate coastal and windy conditions. Gorgeous, red and green heart shaped leaves make this shrub very ornamental with attractive yellow flowers.

Use this to screen your neighbours or hide a fence.

Callistemon Kings Park Special

bottle brushCallistemon Kings Park Special are fast growing bottlebrushes and can quickly get to 5m and they attracts lots of birds and pollinating insects in spring when laden with flowers. (and also in autumn when flowers can bloom again) This is a good choice for a quick growing screen.

Callistemons are quite tolerant of many soil types and can be grown in sandy and clay type soils. Ideally, your soil would be conditioned with lots of compost to ensure lots of new growth.

Eucalyptus caesia – Silver Princess

eucalyptus-silverprincessSpectacular small tree, growing around 5-6m tall. With the sweetest bright,red flowers straight out of a May Gibbs- ‘Gumnut Babies’ book. It has a weeping habit with silvery branches, making it lovely as a feature tree.

Likes to grow in sandy, well drained soil in the sun or shady spots. Responds quite well to pruning to maintain a nice shape. Stake while young to get nice straight growth.

Magnolia Grandiflora – Little Gem

magnolia-little-gemDwarf form of Magnolia grandiflora. You get the same gorgeous glossy green foliage, with a rust coloured underleaf and chunky white flowers that seem to bloom all year round!  Will grow to 4 -5 metres approximately.

Little Gems are quite robust plants, handling drought and high wind areas – although will grow a lot better with regular water and conditioned soil. Plant in a sunny spot for best performance. These are great plants for an  hedge or a screen.


Syzygium Bush Christmas

australian bush christmasHighly ornamental evergreen, shrub providing interest all year round with glossy green leaves, red new growth, summer flowers and autumn berries (which are edible). If left un-pruned, Bush Xmas will grow to around 4m. We love this for topiary and hedging. It has a reasonable growth rate, so is a good choice for a screen or a hedge. The compact foliage attracts many small birds, who use it to nest.

 


Olea Europaea – Olive

olive-trees Olives are quite suited to our climate and they can grow in those tricky spots where others have struggled.  They’re a long lived tree and also make good potted specimens.  Their root systems are quite shallow, so they’ll need a free draining soil – they don’t like being waterlogged.   Olives are quite drought tolerant, however for good fruit production give them sufficient water. Olives ripen up in late Autumn. They all start off dark green, turning to a light green colour before turning black. Harvesting is done at either stage, light green or black before pickling  or making oil.


Citrus

orange-tree Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Kumquat, Orange, Grapefruit are great plants for a small garden. Glossy green foliage, amazing citrus blossoms, and the fruit is an incredible bonus!!  Every yard should have at least one citrus tree.  A lot of citrus grow really well in pots, especially kumquats and mandarins which are smaller citrus trees.

 

 

 

 

This is a snapshot of what we have growing out in the nursery. If you’re chasing something not listed here, contact us

Read on for Deciduous Trees for Smaller Urban Gardens.

Can’t decide? Come in for a look!