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Shade trees

Shade trees — yard size approx. 160 sq. metres — require an evergreen shade tree, something that won't grow too high, but gives good shade.


Jim Antill, one of our landscaping experts suggests: Almost all NZ natives are evergreen. Titoki, karaka, Taraire, etc, make small-to-medium canopies and are very dense. Lighter shade is obtained with Kowhai, and the flowers are lovely, of course. (Ever seen tuis getting smashed on the nectar? It's a laugh a minute!).

Exotic evergreens such as Brazilian Pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius) or the more common Schinus molle — both form umbrella canopies and grow very fast in their early years; you can easily prune them to shape. The latter has really gnarly bark and branch shapes. They're a bit frost tender, so if you're far south of Auckland, think again. Photinia glabra has been popular for a long time; though less often planted now, I think it has a lot to offer.

The main thing to ask for is something that forms an umbrella canopy, rather than a tall, pointy one.

But as a landscaper, I have to ask why evergreen? There is a strong argument for shade in the summer and warm sunshine in the winter: that means deciduous!

Last updated: June 27, 2005