The 5 best trees for Brisbane gardens

Planting trees in your Brisbane garden for can add huge value to your lifestyle and home. But there are issues to considering too, such as our sub-tropical climate, branch drop, leaf litter, maintenance requirements, shade and size. Here are 5 great trees that I recommend for gardens in South-East Queensland:

1. ELAEOCARPUS eumundii (Eumundi Quandong)

This native tree is perfect for growing down the side of your house like a hedge, but without the maintenance. It is tall and thin with good dense foliage. The glossy green leaves with pink new growth is aesthetically attractive and acts as a great screen. The ELAEOCARPUS eumundii, also known as a smooth Leafed Quandong, grows to approximately 6-7m tall and 1-2m wide. Plant where there is little-to-no traffic as this tree’s foliage grows to the ground and will make passing by difficult. This tree is perfectly suited to plant next to the house as there is limited leaf litter (your gutters will thank you).

2. CUPANIOPSIS anacardioides (Tuckeroo)

The CUPANIOPSIS anacardioides  - also known as a Tuckeroo, Carrotwood, Beach Tamarind and Green-leaved tTamarind - is a small lollipop-shaped tree, again good for the side of houses as a low-maintenance hedge. The Tuckeroo is also great alongside pathways as the lower branches can be trimmed for passers-by. Local to the Brisbane area, this native can produce berries which are bird-attracting and has dark green glossy leaves which look great with any planting scheme. Your gutters will be happy that the Tuckeroo doesn’t drop much leaf litter, and your pavers will be thrilled that it has a non-evasive root system. This is quite possibly the perfect tree for Brisbane gardens.

3. WATERHOUSEA floribunda (Weeping Lilly Pilly)

The Weeping Lilly Pilly/Lilli Pilli (not an actual Lilly Pilly!) has a great lollipop shape and provides nice shade. This tree is slightly larger at around 8m height and 6m spread, so best placed further away from the building on your property. It’s a bigger version of the Tuckeroo, above.

4. Eucalyptus 'Summer Red' and Eucalyptus 'Summer Beauty (Flowering Eucalyptus)

eucalyptus-summer-red.jpg

This one is a stunner. The Eucalyptus Summer Red boasts stunning red blossoms and the Summer Beauty shows off with its pink flowers. These natives are not cheap trees, but provide a spectactular show of blossoms and are a manageable dwarfed form, with around maximum 6m height. The foliage is more dense than a usual eucalypt and won’t drop branches like its giant cousins. They will attract birds and provide a stunning talking point to your garden.

5. DELONIX regia (Poinciana)

An iconic Brisbane tree, the Poinciana is a magnificent species providing great shade as well as vibrant colour from red through to orange flowering throughout summer. The Poinciana is best suited to a position in the back corner of a garden providing an umbrella canopy. Be aware that seed pods and flowers will drop, so keep this tree away from the house and from the driveway. The Poinciana is a slower grower – plant as mature a tree as you can afford. Look for a nice trunk and branches extending off as high as possible to ensure that you can fit your entertaining space - as well as tables and chairs - underneath. Along with the Jacaranda, Brisbane holds a special place in its heart for the Poinciana.


I haven’t been able to list every tree that works well in a Brisbane garden, but these are a great selection. (you could also include the Flame Tree – see my article here on the blog).

Note: Trees are growing elements in the garden ad need pruning (like any plant in the garden). Bring in an arborist every 2-3 years to keep trees well maintained and to train them into your desired shape. Trees will take the form and shape of their mature version in the first 4-5 years of their growth.

If you liked this article, you might also be interested in my pieces The Four Worst Trees to Plant in your Brisbane Garden and 5 Great Plants for Part-Shade Brisbane Gardens. Of course, please feel free to contact us at SEED Landscape Design at any time to talk about your garden requirements.

Images: 1. Emaho Trees 2. Alpine Nurseries 3. Tatters via Flickr 4. Yard Tales 5. Tatters via Flickr