you please identify this tree which was in the garden when I moved
here? Its leaves look a bit like a bottlebrush and in winter the
new foliage turns a nice reddishbrown. The bark is rough, and over
Christmas it looks a picture with masses of small, white, manuka-like
flowers. A friend reckons it's one of those Aussie escapees!
your photo it looks like you have a fine specimen of one of the
Australian tea trees, Leptospermum nitidum 'Copper Sheen'.
The late Mike Geenty,
who for many years managed the parks nursery at Hamilton City Council,
imported seed from overseas of many interesting plants and I believe
this is one he selected from a batch of seedlings due to its superior
foliage colour, propagated it from cuttings and named it 'Copper
Sheen'. It has proved to be a great garden plant in many parts of
the country, growing well in most soil types and requiring little
in the way of care and attention.
Like most other tea trees,
you can leave it to reach its full potential as a medium-sized tree
or trim it into an attractive hedge. And in my experience it doesn't
seem to be as susceptible to attack by scale, which can cause the
unsightly sooty mould so common on some other tea trees.
Gardener, Issue 178, 2005, Page 32
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.