Real World Gardener Large Trees in Design Elements

November 30th, 2014

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website


with landscape designer Louise McDaid

Trees part 4-Large Trees

Large trees are very long lived-quite often up to hundreds and even thousands of years.

Did you know that in china, tourists flock to see a 2,000 year old Osmanthus?

And in England, the old trees in some gardens like Stourhead, are called Champion trees because of their age, being around 600 years old.

photo M Cannon

Large trees really need a lot of space to give them room for their root spread as well as canopy – a park like area, rural or country, or very large town block – these are the sorts of trees you usually see in estate gardens, botanic gardens, town parks and gardens

If you have a spacious garden, then trees of this size are needed to fill it, to make it look ‘not empty’ – and you might need quite a few – but like I said, not too close to the home. Their spreading canopies are great for shade, and their size balances built forms.

There are ways to use large trees in large gardens but if you’ve got a small garden don’t tune  to this segment on large trees because it’s good to know what trees to avoid when you’re planting out in your garden.

Haven’t we all driven around looking for that shady spot to park on a hot summer day!

photo M Cannon

Trees and other plantings can reduce asphalt temperatures of carparks by as much as 13°C, and cabin temperatures by 17°C.

But apart from all the health, social, environmental and economic benefit of trees,  it’s sad to note that tree canopy on private land is declining at a rate of 5% per year.

We need to plant more trees not cut them down.

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