Top tree tips



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Recommended by Greater Geraldton 

locals ‘in the know’

TOP

TOP TREE TIPS

10

TREES

About Million Trees

In early 2010 the City of Greater Geraldton held a series of World 

Cafés (chats with community members) and asked locals what 

they liked about the place they called home, what they didn’t 

want to lose as the City grows, and what would make it an even 

better place to live by 2029 and beyond.

The number one answer was that the community wanted a 

sustainable environment and more trees planted. 

Million Trees is the flagship 2029 and Beyond project. 2029 and 

Beyond is about collaborative planning for the future of the 

Greater Geraldton region. It’s up to the community to help turn 

the Million Trees plan into action!



Get involved!

facebook:           ‘Like’ Million Trees Geraldton

phone:  Project Officer 9956 6600

email:  milliontrees@cgg.wa.gov.au

web:  www.2029andbeyond.com.au find Million Trees project

address:  City of Greater Geraldton Civic Centre, Cathedral Ave



Top Ten Trees

The City of Greater Geraldton asked Million Trees ‘challenge 

leaders’ and others knowledgeable in the field of trees, for their 

Top Ten Trees and Top Tree Tips.

Suggested Top Trees (and tall shrubs) and Tips were refined 

and further adapted to local conditions by well-regarded 

permaculture and botany experts, Julie Firth from Drylands 

Permaculture Nursery, and Jenna Brooker, with support from the 

City’s Environmental Sustainability Team.

The following publication (borrowed from the Geraldton 

Regional Library) was also referred to in compiling Top Ten Trees:

Peate, N. 2006. Grow what where: over 3,000 Australian native 

plants for every situation, special use and problem area, 

Bloomings Books, Melbourne.

Top Ten Trees helps people who live in the Greater Geraldton 

region to make smart planting decisions.



Planting a million well-selected trees  

that survive and thrive  

is in the community’s hands.

Front-line Coastal

tolerates direct salt spray and salt-

laden winds

Second-line Coastal

tolerates some degree of salt 

exposure, but needs front-line 

protection



Attracts Birds

which pollinate, eat unwanted 

insects, and/or feed on tree seeds

Shade

trees are cool for you and your 

pooch!

Local Native

a very wise choice—called local 

provenance

WA Native

second best choice—native to 

our State

Exotic

originates from another country



Fast Growing

good for quickly establishing 

screening while slower trees catch up

Street Tree

good for growing on verges. 

First check the City’s Street Tree 

specifications



Beauty

wow-factor



Wind Breaking

good trees for diffusing wind and 

creating a calmer environment

Fruit Bearing

grows fruit you can eat



Hedges

plants with foliage to the ground 

that you can clip into shape

Container Plant

will grow in a pot



Inland

areas not exposed to sea salt 

spray, salt-laden winds, or salt-soil

Symbols

Soil pH Match

Acidic


Neutral

Alkaline


5 5.5

6

7



8

9

6.5



7.5

8.5


Tree heights are approximate for 

the region and will vary according 

to how well the tree’s needs are 

being met



1

Illyarrie

Eucalyptus erythrocorys



Notes on its features

Attracts honeyeater, insect eater and 



seed eater birds

Displays striking yellow flowers in the 



summer 

Conditions and Care

Likes full sun



For elegant weeping wind protection: 

plant a few Illyarries side by side and let 

them develop naturally

For a bushy look or a straight-trunked 



small tree: prune to shape

Soil matters

Very tolerant of lime and alkaline 



conditions

Prefers sand, but can tolerate red 



brown clay or loam

Likes soil pH 6.5 to 8

phot

o: Chr


is Spiker

5 5.5 6 6.5

7.5

7

8 8.5 9



3–5m

2

Rottnest Tea Tree

Melaleuca lanceolata



Notes on its features

Considered to be a very under-rated 



tree which can be pruned to create 

different effects

Grows at a moderately fast rate in this 



region

Attracts honeyeater and insect eater 



birds

Binds sand



Conditions and care

Likes sun, shade, dry or moist



Shape it from the start to be a single-

stemmed tree or let it develop naturally 

into a multi-stemmed shrub



Soil matters

Likes most soil types, including 



limestone

Moderately salt-soil tolerant



Likes soil pH 6.5 to 8

5 5.5 6 6.5

7.5

7

8



3m* up to 7m**

8.5


9

  * In exposed coast

** In valleys with water

phot


o inset: Er

in O


’C

onnor


3

Chenille honey myrtle

Melaleuca huegelii



Notes on its features

Native of Cape Burney



Attracts honeyeater and insect eater 

birds



Scented pink, white, pink/purple 



flowers in the spring and summer 

Binds sand



Conditions and care

Likes full sun



Can tolerate some salt-spray



Soil matters

Likes free draining soils, sand or gravel



Very lime tolerant

A good match with alkaline and neutral 



soils

Like soil pH 7.5 to 8.5

phot

os: Chr


is Spiker

5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5

3m 

9


4

Jam tree

Acacia acuminata



Notes on its features

Wonderful shade tree for bench seats 



and table settings

Attracts honeyeater, insect eater and 



seed eater birds and butterflies

Ask your local nursery about its 



different forms

Conditions and care

Likes full sun 



Soil matters

Not fussy about soil but performs best 



on heavy soil (clay or loam)

Likes soil acidic or neutral



Moderately lime and salt-soil tolerant

Likes soil pH 6.5 to 7.5

5 5.5 6 6.5

7.5

8.5


7

8

9



phot

os: Er


in O

’C

onnor



, inset: Julie F

irth


4m–5m

5

Geraldton wax

Chamaelaucium uncinatum



Notes on its features

Well known for its lovely cut flowers 



and floral art

Attracts honeyeater and insect eater 



birds

Binds sand



Get a copy of the Mid West Heritage 

Series booklet Geraldton’s Wildflower: 

the Wax from the Geraldton Regional 

Library

Conditions and care

Likes full sun



To shape or hedge: prune heavily after 

flowering

For a large bushy shrub: don’t prune



Soil matters

Likes well-drained, sandy soil 



Most varieties, including the Geraldton 

form, grow naturally in acidic through 

to neutral sands

If your soil is alkaline, ask your nursery if 



they have alkaline-adapted waxes

Likes soil pH 5.5 to 7

phot

o: Chr


is Spiker

5

5.5



6 6.5 7

8.5


7.5 8

9

3m



6

Olive Leaved Grevillea

Grevillea olivacea



Notes on its features

Yellow, orange or red spring and winter 



flowering 

Attracts honeyeater birds



Conditions and care

Likes full to partial sun



Tolerates salt-spray

Keep pruned



Hedge for privacy



Soil matters

Likes sand, loam, gravel or clay



Moderately lime tolerant

Likes soil pH 6.0 to 8.5

5.5 6 6.5 5 7.5 8 8.5

3m–4m

9

phot



os: A

ngela S


tuar

t-S


tr

eet


, inset: Julie F

irth


7

Coral gum

Eucalyptus torquata



Notes on its features

Native to the Goldfields



Interesting buds (like earrings) with 

apricot pink flowers from August to 

December


A popular subject for floral artists

Attracts honeyeater, insect eater and 



seed eater birds

Conditions and care

Likes full to partial sun



As a street-tree fits under power 

lines (first check the City’s Street Tree 

Specifications)



Soil matters

Prefers red soils but tolerates gravel 



and sand

Very lime and alkaline tolerant



Salt water and salt-soil tolerant

Likes soil pH 6.0 to 8.5

phot


o: Chr

is Spiker

5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9

3m–5m


8

Poinciana

Delonix regia



Notes on its features

An exotic beauty from Madagascar



Semi-deciduous

For a spectacular orange and lemon burst 



of flower plant it next to a Golden Shower 

Cassia fistula



Conditions and care

Likes full to partial sun



Water to encourage and establish flowering

If planted in sand, supplement with trace 



elements

Plant on the north of the house for 



wonderful summer leafy shade and winter 

warmth through bare branches

To encourage a high crown, prune lower 



branches to remove width

Soil matters

Grows in every soil type



Prefers neutral but can tolerate alkaline pH 

up to 9

Likes soil pH 6.5 to 9



phot

o: Chr


is Spiker

5 5.5 6 6.5 7

8

9

7.5



8.5

4m–8m


9

Mulberry

Morus rubra



Notes on its features

Deciduous



Wind tolerant



Conditions and care

Likes full to partial sun



Roots can travel a long way to get 

moisture and will compete with other 

well watered plots 

Fruit needs regular picking so plant it 



somewhere you will see it

Chickens love to clean up fallen fruit



Soil matters

Suits all soil types



Prefers neutral to alkaline pH but 

tolerates slightly acidic soil

Likes soil pH 6.0 to 8.5

phot

os: R


ob

yn N


icholas

, inset: Julie F

irth

5 5.5 6


7

8

9



6.5

7.5


6m–8m

8.5


10

Pomegranate

Punica granatum



Notes on its features

Originates from Afghanistan and 



Persia—what is now Iran

Attractive red fruit bearing tree



Deciduous

Find tasty pomegranate recipes in 



trendy cookbooks

Conditions and care

Prune in late winter for hedging



Quite drought tolerant but needs water 

and food to fruit

Note to self

Likes full to partial sun



Grows in any soil type

Prefers alkaline but is tolerant of 



slightly acidic pH

Likes soil pH 6.5 to 8.5

5

7

9



6.5

7.5


5.5 6

3m–4m


8 8.5

1.  Find a good spot for your tree (remember it will grow upwards and 

outwards)

2.  Identify your soil type:

check Million Trees Soil Map



Test soil yourself to be sure (simple pH kits are available from 

hardware stores or nurseries)

3.  If your soil is hard, moisten it to make digging easier

4.  Dig a hole bigger than the root mass of your plant

5.  Water the plant well in the pot, hit the top rim of the pot with a 

hand spade and the plant should pop up*, turn it upside down, 

hold the trunk between your fingers and carefully remove the 

plant, tickle out the roots, and straighten roots if they’re spiralling

6.  Secure the plant in the lower point of the soil basin that you create 

around the plant

7.  Water it well

8.  Monitor watering needs closely as it establishes

On the ground

Step-by-step planting guide

*if the plant is root bound in the pot and it doesn’t pop up 

squeeze the sides of the pot as you roll it around



Tips for all ten

1.  Keep trees away from leach drains: apply this rule of thumb—tree 

roots run 1.5 times its height

2.  Water all Top Trees for the first year. Keep watering your Poinciana 

over its lifetime

3.  Choose native plants grown from local seed where you  

can—they’re acclimatised

4.  Start planting after the first winter rains



Companion resources

1.  Million Trees Soil Map: Right soil + Right tree = Compatibility!

2.  NACC Native Garden Guides for more tips on Top Trees 1 to 5 plus 

other great selections (inland and coastal)

3.  Local nurseries: Ask for their advice

Find these and more resources here. 



www.2029andbeyond.com.au

Make your tree count!

Register your trees at www.2029andbeyond.com.au


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