We’ve compiled a list of beautiful trees for Canberra gardens that give shade and colour as well as being frost and drought hardy. These trees are suited to growing in Canberra’s hot summers and cold winters and will give you shade during summer months and let the sun shine in during winter. Many of these trees are available bare-rooted and can be planted during winter or early spring. It’s not advisable to plant them during the hot summer weather.
1. Japanese Maple
Among the most beautiful trees, Japanese Maples are deciduous with delicate foliage and beautiful autumn colour from deep red to golden hues. Their leaf shape varies from fern-like to a more traditional maple leaf. Plant them in a shady, wind protected spot. There are approximately 3000 cultivars, from small shrubs to small trees.
2. Crab apple
Crab Apples are hardy and deciduous with lovely summer blossom, stunning autumn colours and edible fruit ranging in colour from yellow to bright red. These trees prefer protection from the wind but otherwise are low maintenance. Once established, they are drought resistant. They grow at a slow to moderate pace to between 6 and 8 metres in height.
3. Crepe Myrtle
These are slow to moderately fast-growing deciduous trees that reach about 8 metres in height. Dwarf forms are also available. The Crepe Myrtle’s leaves turn golden-orange in autumn, and grow mass flowers in mid to late-summer in pinks, lilac, red or white. They also have fabulous coloured bark after shedding. The fruit changes colours from a brilliant yellow to bright red and is edible in autumn. These trees are drought resistant.
The Gleditsia is an elegant tree grown for its lovely dappled shade and fresh foliage colour. The Shademaster and Honey Locust are the two most popular varieties. They grow moderately fast, are low maintenance, and drought hardy. They each about 4 metres in height.
5. Kousa dogwood
Also known as the Japanese dogwood, this deciduous tree has stunning pink or white flowers, with crimson bronze foliage in autumn. It grows well in Canberra but is not common in surrounding regions. The Japanese dogwood grows slowly to around 8 metres in height.
6. Manchurian pear
This is a beautiful deciduous shade tree with pretty flowers in sprint followed by dense foliage and then brilliant autumn colours. It is drought resistant and fast growing reaching 14m with a 12m canopy.
7. Ornamental cherry tree
The Ornamental cherry tree is deciduous with beautiful spring flowers. It is often grown for its reddish bark and is available in white and pink shades with double flowers, or weeping varieties. Weeping cherries reach about 3 metres in height with double pink flowers turning white. The standard versions reach around 4 metres high. Ornamental cherries are adaptable to most well-drained, moist souls and pH levels. They like full-sun to part shade position, and are moderately fast growing.
Make sure wherever you plant a tree you give it enough space to realise its potential height and canopy so it won’t interfere with powerlines or physical structures. Always check to see how invasive roots are if you are planting close to any hard structures.
TreeWorks is a leading tree services business operating in Canberra, Monaro, and Southern Tablelands. We are a fully licensed, Evoenergy accredited & insured tree surgery company and a member of Arboriculture Australia. Our climbers are appropriately trained and some of our arborists have over 25 years experience in large scale tree surgery and removals. Call 1800 873 343 or book online for a free on-site tree health and safety inspection.