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  1. #1
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    Default What tree should we plant?

    DH and I are not garden savvy and would love some advice from the green thumbs out there.

    We live in Melbourne and our backyard is a small patch of grass (9mx10m) and gets full sun for almost the whole day.

    We would like to plant a tree to provide some shade but have no idea what would be suited to the climate, full sun and the small area.

    Ideally we would like something that will reach a reasonable height in a few years.

    What would you recommend?

    A guy at bunnings suggested a Fig...

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    Default What tree should we plant?

    A fig in that small space would be too large, take too long to grow and will give root problems to your plumbing. Do you want a 'tree' or a shady shrub? A mock orange (shrub) will grow to about 5m, can be trimmed however you like (usually used as a hedge but standalone are great too), very rapid growing, and fragrant flowers about 3 times a year, barely need looking after.
    I would speak to your local nursery, they will know the soil type in your area and what grows best. Soil preparation is key , and a good nursery will give you advice in this too.

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    Default Re: What tree should we plant?

    I agree with going to a nursery with a good range of trees, ring first to find out when qualified staff are working too.

    Things to think about before you go include how much pruning you will be willing to do, the shape you want (eg. Foliage from low down or a clean trunk and branches starting higher up), how fast you want it to grow - I,m guessing fast if you have nothing at all, do you want evergreen or deciduous (which could mean raking leaves). Also you mention the sun but also observe the prevailing wind direction and shelter it will get from the house/fences.

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    I really would not recommend planting a fig they get massive with very disruptive root systems. They also drop a lot of berries and things.

    If you are planning on planting the tree in the middle of the lawn I would probably recommend getting either a smaller tree or a deciduous tree. Lawns need quite a lot of sunshine to survive and if you plant a really big evergreen in the middle of the lawn the lawn will die in winter and you will only have a mud patch. If you are hoping for quite a large canopy in the summer a deciduous tree like a jacaranda or a mulberry would be good. I think both of these are quite fast growing and you can often get them as advanced plants. Deciduous trees make a horrible mess once a year though and mulberries are delicious but will stain your kiddos.

    you could also plant your tree to one side of your lawn so that the lawn will always get sun for half the day in which case an evergreen should be fine.

    Perhaps a native frangipani hymenosporum flavum - fast growing, non invasive roots, doesn't need too much water. maybe a cottonwood hibiscus tiliaceus. I believe they are reasonably fast growing too. There are a few varieties of Lilly pilly that are very fast growing but their fruit can make a bit of a mess (they are edible though) and a lot of varieties are affected by a pest called psyllids that make the leaves look a bit manky. You will need to pick carefully.

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    Nooooo not a fig!!! Will cause huge issues down the track, don't do it!

    A Murraya will grow well, as will a Lilypilly so I agree with those. They will be fast too.

    Are you up for a bit of pruning? Do you want to keep your grass?

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    Default What tree should we plant?

    I'd go a crape myrtle or maybe a Chinese elm.

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    Default What tree should we plant?

    Crepe myrtles are nice, but the flowers are messy and in winter they are an ugly bare skeleton (I almost chopped mine down in winter but then it flowered ... So pretty).

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    Default What tree should we plant?

    Mop top. They are deciduous, but look lovely. Prune them in winter to keep at a size you want

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    Default What tree should we plant?

    Ooh I love the silvery bare bark of the crepe myrtle. And I love the flowers too! Haha different strokes hey

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    Oh I love fig trees! My neighbour had one on her fence so overlooking us and it we could pick the figs off YUM! But yes it was messy, however, I think its part of a garden and I'm used to that so it never bothered me.
    I used to have a lillypilly and they grow really well and there is no maintenance, they're good for screening and they look nice all year round.
    I would personally go with fruit trees, lemon or plum, orange, apple, only because I personally like eating what I grow rather than having a tree that does nothing and loses its leaves for the half the year.

    I should add I live in Melbourne too and I know your backyard size and we had these trees


 

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