Please see below for commonly asked questions about tree planting on your property.

Some trees can grow very large eventually, in this instance it is important to consider the right position to plant the tree in relation to:

  • Your neighbours on all sides
  • Sewer lines
  • Overhead powerlines
  • Foundations of buildings
  • Driveways
  • Swimming pools
  • Fences
  • Future shading- particularly of your surrounding neighbours
  • Sunlight access for solar panels
  • Sightlines for you and your neighbours when driving out of your property

On our Trees page, you will find indicative heights of different species of native trees.

Autumn, winter and early spring are the best times to plant a tree, but if you have the time and resources (water, mulch, fertiliser) you can really plant at any time of the year.

When planting your new tree the first watering is very important. At least 10 litres should be given to the tree initially for a tubestock size pot ( a full standard bucket). Larger pots correspondingly need more water.

After the initial water, it is important to keep the tree well watered for successful establishment and to encourage strong growth both in shoots and roots.

To determine how much to water, pull back a bit of the mulch and feel the soil:

  • Is it dry or moist?
  • Is it just dry at the top or dry down deeper?
  • How much rain have we had in the last week?

Your answers to these questions will guide you on how much to water the tree.

As a guide in summer you may need to water twice a week, in winter once a week to once every fortnight. It is really important to give the tree a long deep soak rather than frequent light waterings. This will establish deeper roots from the start and protect the tree from drying out in intervals without rain.

Fertiliser is important to promote strong healthy growth of your tree. Fertiliser should be applied at the planting stage initially and then again annually to twice a year in some instances.

Most indigenous trees just require a feed at the start of their life and quickly adapt to local soil conditions for all their growing requirements however some trees will perform better and provide a better flowering display if they are fed fertiliser.

It is best to feed the tree by applying fertiliser around the drip line – this is the edge of the canopy perimeter when projected down to the surface of the ground below the canopy. It is here that you will find the feeder roots of the tree. It is best to keep grass and lawn away from the root zone of a tree if possible to avoid competition for resources between the grass and the tree.

If your tree is in a mulched garden bed you can feed the tree by applying compost or well rotted animal manures. Mulch ultimately breaks down to provide further nourishment for your tree. If you use fresh mulch, the micro organisms in the mulch use all the Nitrogen in the soil to break down the mulch, depriving your tree with the Nitrogen it needs. Apply a bit of nitrogen fertiliser when using fresh mulch to avoid this effect.

With all fertilisers choose one that is suitable for natives which are generally lower in phosphorus.

Try to buy a tree that hasn’t been staked. Trees growing in the wild don’t start off with a stake tied to them. As such it is best not to stake a tree and instead allow the tree free movement in the wind to develop what is known as a trunk taper. As it grows this means the trunk grows thicker and the root system grows stronger.

Staking a tree that does not need it can do more harm than good as their trunks are weaker and their root systems are less developed. Even when staking is necessary, the sooner the stakes are removed, the sooner the plant can develop a strong trunk and root system.

Indigenous (local native) plants are locally unique. Natives is a term commonly used to refer to plants that come from anywhere in Australia. For example, certain Western Australian plants are native to Australia, but not native to Hornsby Shire.

Local native plants have evolved to be perfectly suited to their environment. Because of this they are low maintenance. A light prune, an occasional native fertiliser and a little water during prolonged dry periods (and when first planted) is all they require.

Yes indeed, local native plants respond well to pruning. A prune ensures they maintain an attractive bushy appearance.

Yes, there are many local native plants tall and bushy enough to screen-off fences and neighbours, and even plants that can be pruned into formal hedges. There are also trees that provide excellent shade.