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Planting shelter belts

WE'VE just moved on to a small block of land and want plant a shelter belt along one boundary. A neighbour suggests we plant sheokes, but we feel they may get too tall and shade the house. We only want something 5-6m high. Do you have any suggestions?


SHEOKES (Casuarina cunninghamiana) are popular shelter trees in many areas as they not only grow quickly but make good firewood, have some nitrogen-fixing properties and stock will also eat them. But they can grow tall (20-30m) and spread quite wide, so you'd be forever trimming them to keep them 6m high. And in certain soil conditions they may sucker.

Take a look around your area to see what else is being used for shelter and what you like the look of.

Consider pittosporums, such as lemonwood, karo or kohuhu, or other native shrubs such as ngaio (Myoporum laetum) or even pohutukawa, which makes great shelter for coastal gardens and can be trimmed into a tight hedge. You could also think about non-running bamboo such as some of the Bambusa multiplex varieties.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 169, 2005, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: November 2, 2005