Free tree giveaway

Free tree giveaway

The next giveaway will be on Saturday 1 April 2017 at Sydney Park

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.

Increasing the City's tree 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 11,742 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 free tree giveaway encourages residents to help us reach our target to increase the City's tree canopy up to 50% by 2030.

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 will make its best endeavours to provide a healthy plant with average growth height information 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
Acting Street Tree Contract Coordinator
02 9265 9673

Free tree giveaway 1 April 2017

Tree species information and maintenance guide

Legend

S Small 5-10m C Suitable for container
M Medium 10-15m D Deciduous
L Large 15-20m E Evergreen

 

 

Small trees and shrubs

Species Description Aspect and soil Maintenance Container
Assorted citrus
(S, E, C)
Small trees that produce citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons, grapefruit and limes. Fruting season depends on type and cultivated breeding variety. Light, well-drained soil with adequate moisture. Full sun preferred, but some will tolerate part shade. Sheltered positions are best. Regular applications of citrus fertiliser. Minimum 200 litre for long term.
Bottle brush
Callistemon 'Kings Park special'
(S, E, C)
Fast growing upright tree reaching 3-5m. Suitable for small gardens. Hanging branches with bright red flowers during late spring. Attracts birds. Suitable for courtyard gardens. Full sun to partial shade. Adaptable to wide range of well-drained soil. Tolerates dry periods. Not frost resistant. Responds well to light pruning after flowering to keep plant dense. Minimum 200 litre for long term.
Coast banksia Banksia integrifolia
(S, M, E)
Hardy native, 1 of 4 original banksia species collected by Sir Joseph Banks in 1770. A versatile tree with rough bark and bird attracting spike-like flowers in winter and spring. Full sun in well-drained sandy soils or loam soils. Not required or very light pruning to enhance shape. We recommend planting in the ground.
Crepe myrtle
Lagerstroemia 'Indian summer'
(S, D, C)
Small, ornamental tree with delightful flowers throughout summer and impressive autumn foliage. Prefers moist well-drained soil. Thrives in sunny locations protected from hot, dry winds. Water well and keep soil moist until established. Mulch well to conserve soil moisture. Minimum 200 litre for long term.
Gardenia
Gardenia augusta, ‘Magnifica’ and ‘Florida’
(S, E, C)
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.
Water well, particularly from spring to summer when plant is flowering. Protect root system with mulch. Minimum 100 litre for long term.
Gordonia
Gordonia axillaris
(S, E, C)
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. Full sun in well-drained soil. Low maintenance. Light pruning after flowering to maintain shape and generally keep soil well-conditioned with compost and mulch. Minimum 200 litre for short to medium term.
Grevillea
Grevillea ‘superb’
(S, E, C)
Compact 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. Likes a sunny, well-drained position. Will tolerate moderate frost. Avoid using fertilisers that are high in phosphorus. Minimum 100 litre for long term.
Hibiscus
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
(S, E, C)
A tropical flowering shrub or small tree. Highly decorative flowers blooming in summer and early autumn. Plant size and colour depend on the variety. Full sun with wind protection. Well-drained soil that is improved with organic matter and fertiliser. Prune in early spring to maintain shape and promote more growth, produces flowers in late summer. Minimum 100 litre for short to medium term.
Ivory curl tree
Buckinghamia celsissima
(S, E)
Beautiful native Australian 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. 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. Light pruning to maintain shape. Minimum 100 litre container for the short to medium term. Prefers to be planted in the ground.
Lemon scented tea tree
Leptospermum petersonii
(S, E)
Native small 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. Hardy in full sun or light shade. Adaptable to most soils preferring moist loam. Prune lower branches if a tree like form is preferred. Hedge plantings will benefit from an application of native fertiliser in early spring. Minimum 200 litre for long term. We recommend planting in the ground.
NSW Christmas bush
Ceratopetalum gummiferum, 'Red Red Red Christmas'
(S, C, E)
Compact small tree growing around 5m tall with very bright flowers. Suitable for courtyard gardens. Moist, well-drained soil in sunny to semi-shaded position. Little maintenance needed after established. Mulch well. Prune after flowering for best results. Minimum 200 litre for long term
Camellia
Camellia sasanqua, ‘Plantation Pink’ and ‘Hiryu’
(S, E, C)
‘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. Will tolerate full sun but prefers semi shade or protection from hot afternoon sun. Prefers slightly acidic, humus rich soil with good drainage. Fertilise in spring with camellia and azalea food, and mulch with compost. Prune after flowering to maintain shape and bushiness. Min 100 litre for short term and 200 litre for long term.
Saucer magnolia Magnolia x soulangeana
(S, D)
Small deciduous tree with wonderful pink-mauve flowers blooming in late autumn. The tree grows to around 3-6m tall.
Prefers moist, mildly acidic and well-drained soils. Mulch shallow roots and protect from drying out. Full sun to light shade. Prune after flowering if needed to improve shape.
We recommend planting in the ground.
Swamp banksia Banksia robur
(S, C, E)
 
Native, broad bun shaped 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.
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.
Responds well to pruning to keep a dense cover of foliage. Fertilise sparingly if at all using half strength native fertiliser only if required.
Medium 100 litre for long term.
Port wine magnolia Michelia figo
(S, E, C)
Dark green foliage with perfumed flowers in winter. Good as a specimen shrub or small tree, flowering hedge and screen plant. Will perform well for years in a large pot growing in a quality potting mix.

Prefers a sheltered, sunny position in well-drained, reasonably fertile soil. Will thrive in full sun with protection from strong winds. Hardy, frost tolerant.
Lightly prune to shape after flowering.
Minimum 200 litre for long term.
Lilly pilly – ‘resilience’ 
Syzygium australe
(S, E, C)
Fast growing native 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.
Full sun to part shade. Grows in most soil types, but prefers fertile, well-drained soils.

If using as a hedge, prune regularly to promote colourful new growth. And feed with a slow release organic fertiliser in spring.
Minimum 200 litre for long term.
Tibouchina Tibouchina lepidota, ‘Alstonvillie’
(S, E)
Small 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.

Sunny spot and a light friable soil with plenty of moisture during the growing season.
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.
We recommend planting in the ground.
Mock orange Murraya paniculata
(S, E, C)
Easy to grow bushy shrub or small tree, around 2-4 metres tall. Can occasionally reach 7m. Attractive, glossy green foliage and dense growth habit. Perfumed white flowers throughout the year, most common from late spring to late winter.
Prefers a sunny position in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter.
Prune 2-3 times a year in spring and summer. Give a final prune in autumn after flowering.
Minimum 200 litre for long term.

Medium trees

Species Description Aspect and soil Maintenance Container
Blueberry ash Elaeocarpus reticulatus
(M, E)
Native, evergreen tree growing 8-12m. Pinkish flowers and blue fruit are a feature of this beautiful and hardy plant.

Thrives in full sun to light shade. Tolerates low nutrient and dry soils. Performs best when well-watered.
Little moisture needed once established. Mulch well.
This species will not survive in a container. We recommend planting in the ground.

Pistachio Pistacia chinensis
(M, D)

A small to medium sized tree that grows in harsh conditions. Beautiful autumn colour.
Full sun. Tolerates a variety of soil types.
Prune for shape and habit only if required.
We recommend planting in the ground.
Water gum Tristaniopsis laurina, ‘Luscious’
(M, E)
Native 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.

Full sun to part shade. Tolerates frost and drought, but performs best in a warm moist position in well-drained rocky soils.
Water in well until established. Mulch well to conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds.
We recommend planting in the ground.
Snow-in-summer
Melaleuca linariifolia
(M, E)
 
Small to medium native, hardy tree growing to about 8-10m. Clusters of white flowers cover the plant in late spring and summer.
Flowers best in a sunny position. Tolerates poor drainage. Tolerates both dry and boggy conditions and is frost hardy.
Keep moist for rapid growth. Mulch well to conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds.
We recommend planting in the ground.
Cheese tree Glochidion ferdinandi
(M, E)
 
Native 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.
Moist, well-drained soil in sunny to semi-shaded position. Does not tolerate frosts.
Little moisture needed once established. Mulch well.
We recommend planting in the ground.

Large Trees

Species Description Aspect and soil Maintenance Container
Jacaranda Jacaranda mimosifolia
(L, D)
            
Large semi-deciduous tree, 12-15m. Fast growing with attractive ferny foliage. Produces large bunches of lilac flowers.
Moist, well-drained fertile soil. Sunny position.
Protect young trees from frost. Keep moist until established. Mulch well to conserve moisture.
We recommend planting in the ground.
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Last updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2017