There’s a big difference between growing trees and growing feature trees, and it’s got very little to do with the species you use. It’s got everything to do with how you grow them. Ever heard the expression “Can’t see the forest for the trees”? Well, the opposite should be considered when planting feature trees, else you “Won’t see the trees for the forest”.
Feature trees need enough space to grow without being obstructed by other plants. So it’s important to find out how large the tree you’re planting is expected to grow in a garden setting and to plant it accordingly. Remember also that the wild size of most trees isn’t the same as garden size, especially when you’re talking about rainforest trees, because in a garden, rainforest trees don’t need to stretch up to a 30 metre canopy to reach the light, so they are generally much smaller in gardens.
When you’ve decided on a tree, make sure it has plenty of room. Make sure it will be able to grow to its full expected height without touching other trees, and make sure it will have a clear upwards path without obstruction from overhanging branches or power lines. And give it the best start by following the soil preparation instructions on Yuruga Nursery’s soil preparation information sheet. Remember that this tree will be a feature so the extra effort you make now will pay off in the future when it looks stunning.
Most local trees can be grown as impressive feature trees, and a bit of experimenting with less common species may yield some very surprising results, but if you only have space for one or two feature trees, then it’s advisable to get some professional assistance to pick the best one for the location, available space and local climate.
A handful of my favourites are: The Golden Penda, Wheel of Fire, Ivory Curl, Stockwellia, Red Beech, Northern Cypress, Pink Silky Oak, Cascading Bean, Native Olive, Poplar Gum and Lemon-scented Gum. However there are still plenty more and your choice should be based largely on your growing conditions so the tree will grow to its full potential.
There are however a few trees I would only recommend to those with large properties and a lot of space to fill. The Bunya pine, Kaddam and Moreton Bay Fig are just three of the monsters only suited to acreages where they can be grown a safe distance from the house. If you’re looking for inspiration have a look at the book “A Field Guide to Australian Trees” by Ivan Holliday, or drop in to Yuruga Nursery and let the staff there match you up with a tree.
See you at Yuruga,