Home' Outdoors : WAs Best Outdoors and Gardens 2010-11 Contents WA’s Best Outdoors & Gardens 2011 79
When selecting a good summer shade tree, it is
important to consider the amount and type of shade –
filtered or full shade – you want to create. Tree selection
is often determined by the intended use of the proposed
courtyard or development, and it can determine the
surface treatments, plantings and paved surfaces beneath
the shade. Good shade trees are:
Poinciana (Delonix regia) and honey locust (Gleditsia
triacanthos) Usually best in larger courtyards, these
trees have a spread of about 10 metres, providing filtered
shade in summer and losing their leaves to allow full sun
in the winter months.
London plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia) This creates
a denser level of shade and has the potential to grow
much larger than the honey locust and poinciana. It is
commonly used in large, open areas and often as an
avenue or street tree in residential and civic areas.
Landscape architect Tim Davies
is a qualified horticulturist and a past
president of the Landscape Industries
Association. Tim Davies Landscaping
(08) 9441 0200, www.tdl.com.au .
When you have an area where you need protection
from summer sun, but want to let in the winter light,
deciduous trees are a great option. Losing leaves as the
cooler months set in, they open up a space and allow in
natural, warming winter light – making the most of the
light helps reduce power and heating bills. Many people
are concerned with the amount of debris that deciduous
trees create, but the advantages of light and warmth soon
outweigh that. Leaf drop is usually only over a six- to
eight-week period, so if you can manage this they are
worth it. Also, consider turf under deciduous trees because
the extra winter light keeps the grass growing, allows the
ground to dry out and prevents rot. Try these trees:
Bauhinia blakeana A small semi-deciduous tree growing
up to seven metres tall. It has dark-green leaves with
large, deep-purple, orchid-like flowers between February
and November. Likes fertile, well-drained soils and does
best in full sun, with protection from frost and cold winds.
Chinese tallow A medium-sized deciduous tree growing
to about nine metres tall and six metres wide. In autumn,
the mid-green leaves change to red and orange.
Chinese elm A medium-sized, partly deciduous tree that
weeps and grows to about 10 metres tall and eight metres
wide. Its leaves are dark green and shiny, and when the
grey/brown bark is shed, orange and grey colours appear.
It flowers between late March and June.
Manchurian pear A large tree growing to about 15
metres tall. Its conical shape lends itself well to a northern
boundary screening tree. The tree’s foliage turns red and
yellow prior to dropping, with white flowers in early spring.
“Bauhinia blakeana (pictured)
has dark-green leaves with deep-
purple, orchid-like flowers”
Olive trees make
good wind breaks.
A Chinese elm will lose leaves in the
cooler months to allow in winter sun.
When looking for a tree to screen and protect an area,
the most important factor is the density of the foliage.
Why? This will provide the maximum resistance to a
breeze. Trees, such as olives (pictured here) and acmena
(see information on both trees below), can be trimmed
down to form pleached hedges of solid growth. It’s best
to plant at reasonably close spacings to get the foliage
blocking as quickly as possible, then to maintain the
desired shape and height.
Olive tree It grows to six metres high and five metres
wide, and has dense, grey-green foliage.
Acmena smithii A tree growing to six metres high
and three metres wide, with foliage that changes from
red to green as it matures.
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14/9/10 3:59:26 PM
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