Free tree giveaway

Free tree giveaway

Increasing the city's urban canopy

Trees make our city more beautiful as well as improving our air quality and providing habitat for birds and animals.

The City of Sydney has planted over 12,000 trees since 2005 – we already have around 44,000 trees on our streets, parks and City properties – and we're planning for many more.

Our yearly free tree giveaway encourages residents to help us reach our target to increase the urban canopy up to 50% by 2030.

We gave away 1,000 trees to local residents on Saturday 7 April 2018 at Sydney Park. Residents enjoyed a sausage sizzle and chatted to City staff about tips and advice on how to plant their trees and general tree maintenance. 

We have prepared information in the table below about the available tree species this year with short descriptions, the preferred aspect and soil, and how to care for your tree. We have also prepared a tip sheet for growing trees in pots.  

Free trees: Terms and conditions

Free trees are only available to residents who live in City of Sydney area suburbs.

We hope that you will enjoy planting and caring for your tree to help us create a greener future for our city and villages.

Residents must obtain the necessary approvals for selecting the trees and the planting locations within the property boundary.

The City makes its best endeavours to provide a healthy plant with average growth height but we make no warranties concerning the tree. We suggest you investigate where best to plant the tree to minimise any risks to property or people.

Contacts

Lisa Durland
Tree Management Officer
02 9265 9673

Small trees and shrubs (5m to 10m)

Assorted citrus

Assorted citrus

Small evergreen tree that produces citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, grapefruit and limes. Fruiting season depends on type and cultivated variety.

Aspect and soil: Light, well-drained soil with adequate moisture. Full sun preferred, but some will tolerate part shade. Sheltered positions are best.
Maintenance: Regular applications of citrus fertiliser.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 200 litre for long term.

Bottle brush

Callistemon 'Kings Park special'

Fast growing upright evergreen tree reaching 3-5m. Suitable for small gardens. Hanging branches with bright red flowers during late spring. Attracts birds. Suitable for courtyard gardens.

Aspect and soil: Full sun to partial shade. Adaptable to wide range of well-drained soil. Tolerates dry periods. Not frost resistant.
Maintenance: Responds well to light pruning after flowering to keep plant dense.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 200 litre for long term.

Camellia

Camellia sasanqua ‘Plantation Pink’ and ‘Hiryu’

‘Plantation pink’ grows to around 4m in ground with an upright form and pale pink semi double flowers. ‘Hiryu’ grows to around 4m in ground with an upright form and deep pink-red semi-double flowers. Both varieties evergreen.

Aspect and soil: Will tolerate full sun but prefers semi shade or protection from hot afternoon sun. Prefers slightly acidic, humus rich soil with good drainage.
Maintenance: Fertilise in spring with camellia and azalea food, and mulch with compost. Prune after flowering to maintain shape and bushiness.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 100 litre for short term and 200 litre for long term.

Coast banksia

Banksia integrifolia

Hardy native, 1 of 4 original banksia species collected by Sir Joseph Banks in 1770. A versatile evergreen tree with rough bark and bird attracting spike-like flowers in winter and spring.

Aspect and soil: Full sun in well-drained sandy soils or loam soils.
Maintenance: Not required or very light pruning to enhance shape.
Container: We recommend planting in the ground.

Crepe myrtle

Lagerstroemia 'Indian summer'

Small, ornamental deciduous tree with delightful flowers throughout summer and impressive autumn foliage.

Aspect and soil: Prefers moist well-drained soil. Thrives in sunny locations protected from hot, dry winds.
Maintenance: Water well and keep soil moist until established. Mulch well to conserve soil moisture.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 200 litre for long term.

Gardenia

Gardenia augusta ‘Magnifica’ and ‘Florida’

Attractive evergreen small to medium shrub with deep green foliage. Fragrant creamy white flowers from late spring to late autumn. Excellent for mass plantings or as a hedge. Will perform well for years in a large pot growing in quality potting mix. 

Aspect and soil: Slightly acidic, cool, moist, well-drained soil. Protect from full summer sun and frost.
Maintenance: Water well, particularly from spring to summer when plant is flowering. Protect root system with mulch.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 100 litre for long term.

Gordonia

Gordonia axillaris

A small to medium evergreen tree with a height and spread of 3-5m. This attractive tree has dark, glossy, green leaves and cream-white flowers with a yellow centre.

Aspect and soil: Full sun in well-drained soil.
Maintenance: Low maintenance. Light pruning after flowering to maintain shape and generally keep soil well-conditioned with compost and mulch.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 200 litre for short to medium term.

Grevillea

Grevillea ‘superb’

Compact evergreen shrub growing 1-2m high and wide with attractive green lobed leaves. Can flower for up to 12 months of the year and grows well in a tub.

Aspect and soil: Likes a sunny, well-drained position. Will tolerate moderate frost.
Maintenance: Avoid using fertilisers that are high in phosphorus.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 100 litre for long term.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

A tropical flowering evergreen shrub or small tree. Highly decorative flowers blooming in summer and early autumn. Plant size and colour depend on the variety.

Aspect and soil: Full sun with wind protection. Well-drained soil that is improved with organic matter and fertiliser.
Maintenance: Prune in early spring to maintain shape and promote more growth, produces flowers in late summer.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 100 litre for short to medium term.

Ivory curl tree

Buckinghamia celsissima

Beautiful native Australian evergreen rainforest tree that grows 8-10m in Sydney. Slender to medium spreading canopy with cream-white flowers blooming in late summer. Attracts birds and bees.

Aspect and soil: Performs well when placed in fertile soil and is well mulched. Requires adequate water when establishing and likes full sun in a sheltered position but will also tolerate semi shade.
Maintenance: Light pruning to maintain shape.
Container: Minimum 100 litre container for the short to medium term. Prefers to be planted in the ground.

Lemon scented tea tree

Leptospermum petersonii

Native small evergreen tree or tall shrub growing to around 4-5m. Leaves have a strong citrus smell when crushed and new growth has a tinge of red. Small white flowers bloom in mid-summer.

Aspect and soil: Hardy in full sun or light shade. Adaptable to most soils preferring moist loam.
Maintenance: Prune lower branches if a tree like form is preferred. Hedge plantings will benefit from an application of native fertiliser in early spring.
Container: Minimum 200 litre for long term. We recommend planting in the ground.

Lilly pilly – 'resilience'

Syzygium australe

Fast growing native evregreen shrub, growing to around 3m tall and 2m wide. Deep green glossy foliage and flushes of orange new growth throughout the year. Clusters of white flowers appear all over in spring.

Aspect and soil: Full sun to part shade. Grows in most soil types, but prefers fertile, well-drained soils.
Maintenance: If using as a hedge, prune regularly to promote colourful new growth. And feed with a slow release organic fertiliser in spring.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 200 litre for long term.

Mock orange

Murraya paniculata

Easy to grow evergreen bushy shrub, hedging plant or small tree, around 2-4 metres tall. Attractive, glossy green foliage and dense growth habit. Perfumed white flowers throughout the year, most common from late spring to late winter.

Aspect and soil: Prefers a sunny position in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter.
Maintenance: Prune as required after flowering.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 200 litre for long term.

NSW Christmas bush

Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'Red Red Red Christmas'

Compact small evergreen tree growing around 5m tall with very bright flowers. Suitable for courtyard gardens.

Aspect and soil: Moist, well-drained soil in sunny to semi-shaded position.
Maintenance: Little maintenance needed after established. Mulch well. Prune after flowering for best results.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 200 litre for long term.

Port wine magnolia

Michelia figo

Dark green foliage with perfumed flowers in winter. Good as a specimen evergreen shrub or small tree, flowering hedge and screen plant. Will perform well for years in a large pot growing in a quality potting mix.

Aspect and soil: Prefers a sheltered, sunny position in well-drained, reasonably fertile soil. Will thrive in full sun with protection from strong winds. Hardy, frost tolerant.
Maintenance: Lightly prune to shape after flowering.
Container: Suitable for container. Minimum 200 litre for long term.

Saucer magnolia

Magnolia x soulangeana

Small deciduous tree with wonderful pink-mauve flowers blooming in late autumn. The tree grows to around 3-6m tall.

Aspect and soil: Prefers moist, mildly acidic and well-drained soils. Mulch shallow roots and protect from drying out. Full sun to light shade.
Maintenance: Prune after flowering if needed to improve shape.
Container: We recommend planting in the ground.

Swamp banksia

Banksia robur

Native, broad bun shaped evergreen shrub to 2.5m. Large leathery leaves with serrated margins and the new growth is colourful with shades of red, maroon or brown. Large spike like yellow flowers in late winter and spring. Attracts honey, seed and insect eating birds.

Aspect and soil: Hardy and adaptable preferring a sunny aspect and extra water especially when actively growing and during dry spells. Naturally occurs in wet areas on sandy soils.
Maintenance: Responds well to pruning to keep a dense cover of foliage. Fertilise sparingly if at all using half strength native fertiliser only if required.
Container: Suitable for container. Medium 100 litre for long term.

Tibouchina

Tibouchina lepidota ‘Alstonvillie’

Small evergreen tree which usually grows to around 5m tall. The foliage is dark green with a pale reverse. Brilliant display of violet flowers in late summer and autumn. Excellent specimen tree.

Aspect and soil: Sunny spot and a light friable soil with plenty of moisture during the growing season.
Maintenance: Hard prune after flowering in late winter and tip prune during spring and summer to promote dense, bushy growth. Protect from strong winds, especially when young.
Container: We recommend planting in the ground.

Medium trees (10m to 15m)

Blueberry ash

Elaeocarpus reticulatus

Native, evergreen tree growing 8-12m. Pinkish flowers and blue fruit are a feature of this beautiful and hardy plant.

Aspect and soil: Thrives in full sun to light shade. Tolerates low nutrient and dry soils. 
Maintenance: Plenty of water required during establishment and mulch well.
Container: This species will not survive in a container. We recommend planting in the ground.

Cheese tree

Glochidion ferdinandi

Native evergreen tree growing to around 10m tall. The most notable feature is the small pumpkin-shaped fruit, which are green at first before turning shades of white and pink.

Aspect and soil: Moist, well-drained soil in sunny to semi-shaded position. Does not tolerate frosts.
Maintenance: Little moisture needed once established. Mulch well.
Container: We recommend planting in the ground.

Pistachio

Pistacia chinensis

A small to medium sized deciduous tree that grows in harsh conditions. Beautiful autumn colour.

Aspect and soil: Full sun. Tolerates a variety of soil types.
Maintenance: Prune for shape and habit only if required.
Container: We recommend planting in the ground.

Snow-in-summer

Melaleuca linariifolia

Small to medium native, evergreen hardy tree growing to about 8-10m. Clusters of white flowers cover the plant in late spring and summer.

Aspect and soil: Flowers best in a sunny position. Tolerates a wide variety of soil types.
Maintenance: Keep moist for rapid growth. Mulch well to conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds.
Container: We recommend planting in the ground.

Water gum

Tristaniopsis laurina ‘Luscious’

Native evergreen tree grows 7-12m high and 5m wide. Shiny foliage with red coloured new growth and yellow flowers with a sweet perfume. Striking bark that peels back revealing a mottled cream stem.

Aspect and soil: Full sun to part shade. Tolerates frost and drought, but performs best in a warm moist position in well-drained soils.
Maintenance: Water in well until established. Mulch well to conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds.
Container: We recommend planting in the ground.

Large trees (15m to 20m)

Jacaranda

Jacaranda mimosifolia

Large semi-deciduous tree, 12-15m. Fast growing with attractive ferny foliage. Produces large bunches of lilac flowers.

Aspect and soil: Protect young trees from frost. Keep moist until established. Mulch well to conserve moisture.
Maintenance: Water well, particularly from spring to summer when plant is flowering. Protect root system with mulch.
Container: We recommend planting in the ground.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2018