Jim Hay, Tim Johnson & Lisa Kirwan – City of West Torrens, SA

The City of West Torrens has been associated with and supported TREENET since 1997.  Association with TREENET provides a range of benefits.  Through its focus on information sharing and partnerships TREENET has helped Council to improve planning and engineering for street trees, tree selection, planting and maintenance practices, staff development and training and the education of the wider West Torrens community.

Raising the Profile of Street Tree Issues

West Torrens’ street tree trials have featured nationally in magazines, on television and in press articles.  Increased exposure has highlighted the complexity of urban tree issues and helped street tree planting to be seen more clearly as a specialist area in its own right.  Association with TREENET has helped to improve the way other professions and the general community view our greening work.

It is now accepted within Council that past standards and procedures are no longer applicable.  Procedures and standards are being improved to allow the practical application of increasing corporate knowledge and understanding of street tree issues.

Planning and Engineering for Street Trees

Neither the need to adequately plan and engineer for trees or the conflicts over space in urban design are new.  What is new is the pressure for a sustainable resolution of these conflicts.  Limiting the space available to street trees may make short-term financial gains, but these are too often outweighed by ongoing maintenance costs and reduced benefits.

One example of a near perfect marriage between trees and infrastructure is evident in Northcote Street, Torrensville. Trees that are close to celebrating their 80th birthdays have co-existed with bitumen and concrete without damage and subsequent associated costs of repair. The only damage that was inflicted was to the trees themselves when the obligatory lopping took place (when it was considered an acceptable arboricultural practice). The verge width is a substantial 4 meters from footpath to kerb, providing a favorable environment for a healthy root system to develop. The narrow road width acts as a self-regulating traffic device, eliminating the need for expensive and inconvenient (to residents and services) protuberances and humps. The result being a beautiful tree lined street that is quiet, inexpensive to maintain and appreciated by those that live there.

Recent years have seen increased consideration of tree related issues during planning and development processes but with increasing land value and decreasing block sizes, a reduction in available tree space can result.   Development of the former Apollo Stadium site at Richmond is testament to improved planning processes that provide greater functionality and amenity while reducing infrastructure construction and maintenance costs.  On the Apollo Stadium site:

  • Paved footpaths are to be located only on the south or east sides of the streets, leaving maximum verge space for trees to shade streets from the north or west.
  • Locating larger trees (Celtis occidentalis) on the north side of the streets will reduce shading issues on neighbouring properties but provide for shade in the street where needed. Smaller species (Pyrus and Lagerstroemia cultivars) will be planted in the narrower nature strips provided on the east and south sides of streets.
  • The extensive mix of underground services, including large capacity storm-water pipes which perform a temporary detention function, are located beneath pavements on the south or east sides of the streets.

During recent road reconstruction projects the scale of existing and required infrastructure was reviewed.  Arboriculture staff were consulted in the planning stages of kerb and water table reconstruction works near mature Golden rain trees (Koelreuteria paniculata) in Park Street at Glandore.  Reducing the road width and increasing the area of nature strip improved the intended engineering outcome.  This minor adjustment to plans allowed many additional benefits to be achieved:

  • By placing the new kerb 500mm further from the trees than the previous one significant injury to the tree roots was avoided.
  • By completing the works in winter the resultant impacts on tree health were minimised.
  • The increased size of the nature strip provides improved conditions for the trees.
  • The larger nature strip and narrower road improves street amenity
  • The larger nature strip reduces stormwater run-off and increases water availability to the trees.
  • The narrower road provides a cost-effective traffic calming effect.
  • On-going road and tree maintenance costs will be significantly reduced.

Similar benefits are being realised in Arnold Street at Underdale and in Ashley Street at Torrensville through Council’s current Capital Works Program.  The works in Ashley Street have also provided an opportunity to reconsider the wisdom of planting Plane trees (Platanus x acerifolia) beneath high voltage powerlines.

Increasing Staff Knowledge & Experience

West Torrens has added numerous varieties of trees to its urban forest over the past decade.  This has required that tree maintenance staff increase both knowledge and experience to ensure their appropriate care.

Through external and in-house training, including theory and practical work, skills and knowledge have developed to the point where arboriculture staff are equipped to work with the new varieties.  The tree trial program provides personal benefits to many staff, the increasing diversity of trees encouraging personal interest and contributing to increased job satisfaction.

Points To Consider When Planning a Street Tree Trial:

  1. Trials should utilize a small number of trees so that if issues or problems arise they will remain manageable. An ideal trial size is 5 to 10 trees.
  2. Trials should be located such that if issues or problems arise they have little impact on neighbouring properties. Reserve frontages make good trial sites for larger species.  Avoid high profile sites.
  3. Species should not be excluded from trial due to the possibility of problems arising (see 1 & 2 above) as expected outcomes may not eventuate under your local conditions. For example, Queensland box (Lophostemon confertus) litter causes much concern in Adelaide but they do not fruit to the same extent in Sydney (Fakes, J. 2001 pers. com.) or in areas of the U.S.A. (Gilman, E. (1997) p.558)
  4. Knowledge of species gained through experience with seedling varieties or one selected form cannot be applied to other forms. Selected forms are selected for their differences!  Consider these differences as different horticultural or amenity products.  Different products require different materials and processes in their production, so one selection may thrive where other selections have failed.  Ideally all selections should be tested.
  5. Trees are typically selected to suit a given location. This is not possible in tree trials as there is inadequate local knowledge of tree growth habits and characteristics.  The probability of success can be increased by reversing the process: select an unfamiliar tree, learn everything possible about it, then locate a planting site where the limited knowledge available about the tree suggests it is most likely to grow (but remember 1 & 2 above).
  6. Learn from all available sources. Talk to colleagues, use the Internet, check the TREENET web site and talk to nursery personnel (at the very least they’ll be able to advise regarding feeding, watering, pests, disease & climate issues etc.)
  7. Some species and/or varieties may take a few years to produce to required specification so plan to order them early.
  8. Plant something you’re unfamiliar with & unsure of.

Street Tree Trials: Summary of Progress

The following notes summarize the City of West Torrens’ recent experience with a range of tree species.  Local experience with many of the varieties listed here is limited to immature trees over a short period, so comment relates to progress and development during initial establishment only.  As tree development is dependent on nursery stock quality, planting and maintenance practices as well as site conditions it is impossible to make any judgment of species suitability for street planting at this stage.

This summary is compiled with the aim of promoting the ongoing and widespread trial of alternative tree species for street use.  Street tree trials are essential to provide the mature specimens necessary to determine species costs and benefits.  Only an assessment of mature trees living in street situations will provide insight into their suitability to environmental conditions and any issues that surround them.

The summary below provides observations of 68 varieties.  The summary should be read in conjunction with the notes that follow.  The symbols used in the summary table are straightforward:


Y = positive and/or acceptable
N = negative and/or unacceptable
? = uncertain or under consideration
± = variable and/or uncertain


Defining what is acceptable or unacceptable depends on a range of factors, in the summary the terms are more qualitative than quantitative.  Acceptable survival rates indicate that few trees required replacement in years one and two (except for reason of vandalism, accident etc.).

Growth rates are typically slow for young street trees in West Torrens.  The frequency and quantity of water supplied most often limit growth.  Standard maintenance procedures provide the following water volumes each week on average over the first three years:

1st year: 45-50 liters per week
2nd year: 30 liters per week
3rd year: 20 liters per week

The decreasing volume of water supplied each year results from the breakdown of the dish prepared at planting.  Watering does not normally continue into year 4.

For most street trees, a growth rate of 25mm to 100mm in the first year is common and acceptable.  In the notes “slow growth” refers to this range.  With normal maintenance most Pyrus achieve this rate of growth in their first year with increases in subsequent years.  A growth rate averaging less than 25mm in the first year is described as “unacceptable” in the notes.

The summary lists some varieties that have shown acceptable survival and growth rates yet they are on longer being considered for future plantings in West Torrens.  The accompanying notes may explain this apparent discrepancy.  The explanation in most cases being that the number of trees planted to date is considered adequate to enable mature characteristics under local conditions to be determined in the future and that further planting is being postponed until that time.    


Gilman, Edward (1997) Trees for Urban and Suburban Landscapes, Delmar Publishers.

Fakes, J (2001) Senior Lecturer: Arboriculture, North Ryde College of T.A.F.E.


Survival rate Growth rate Further planting / trials
Acacia melanoxylon Blackwood Y Y Y
Acer buergerianum Trident maple ± ± Y
Acer campestre “Evelyn” Queen Elizabeth hedge maple Y Y Y
Acer monspessulanum Montpellier maple ? ? Y
Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore Y ± N
Acer x freemanii  “Jeffersred” Autumn Blaze hybrid maple Y ± Y
Acer x freemanii “Scarsen” Scarlet Sentinel hybrid maple Y N Y
Angophora costata “Little Gumball” Little Gumball apple myrtle N N N
Backhousia citriodora Lemon-scented myrtle ? N Y
Banksia integrifolia Coast banksia ? ? Y
Banksia grandis Bull banksia ? ? ?
Banksia serrata Saw banksia N ? ?
Brachychiton acerifolius Illawarra flame tree Y Y ?
Brachychiton populneum Kurrajong Y Y ?
Brachychiton rupestris Queensland bottle tree Y Y ?
Buckinghamia celsissima Ivory curl tree ± ± ?
Caesalpinia ferrea Leopard tree Y ? ?
Castanospermum australe Black bean ± ± Y
Cercis canadensis Redbud Y Y Y
Cercis canadensis “Forest Pansy” Forest Pansy ? ? ?
Corymbia eximia Y Y Y
Corymbia ptychocarpa x ficifolia “Summer Red” “Summer Red”) Y Y ?
Cupaniopsis anacardioides Tuckeroo Y ± ?
Dais cotonifolia Y ? ?
Elaeocarpus reticulatus Blueberry ash Y ± ?
Eucalyptus dielsii Diel’s mallee Y Y Y
Eucalyptus leucoxylon “Austraflora Euky Dwarf” “Euky Dwarf”) Y Y N
Flindersia australis Crow’s ash ± ± ?
Flindersia xanthoxyla Yellow wood N N N
Fraxinus americana “Autumn Applause” Autumn Applause American ash ? ? ?
Fraxinus ornus Manna ash Y Y ?
Fraxinus ornus “Arie Peters” “Arie Peter’s” Manna ash Y Y ?
Fraxinus Raywood grafted to F. ornus rootstock Claret ash Y Y ?
Fraxinus pennsylvanica “Urbanite” “Urbanite” green ash Y Y Y
Fraxinus velutina Velvet ash Y Y Y
Geijera parviflora Wilga Y Y Y
Ginkgo biloba Maidenhair tree Y Y Y
Gleditsia tricanthos “Elegantissima” “Elegantissima” Honey locust ? ? Y
Harpullia hillii Y Y Y
Harpullia pendula Tulipwood Y N ?
Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei
Biloxi “Biloxi” crepe myrtle Y Y Y
Natchez “Natchez crepe myrtle Y Y Y
Sioux “Sioux” crepe myrtle Y Y Y
Tuscarora “Tuscarora” crepe myrtle Y Y Y
Michelia doltsopa Wong lan N N N
Pistachia chinensis Chinese pistachio Y Y Y
Pyrus calleryana
“Bradford” Bradford callery pear Y Y Y
“Capital” Capital callery pear Y Y Y
“Chanticleer” Chanticleer callery pear Y Y Y
“Lynington” Y Y Y
“Winterglow” Winterglow callery pear Y Y ?
Pyrus ussuriensis Manchurian pear Y Y Y
Quercus canariensis Algerian oak Y Y ?
Quercus cerris Turkey oak Y Y ?
Quercus coccinia Scarlet oak ? ? ?
Quercus ilex Holly oak Y Y Y
Quercus palustris Pin oak Y N ?
Quercus robur English oak Y Y Y
Quercus robur “Fastigiata” Fastigiate English oak Y Y Y
Quercus suber Cork oak Y Y Y
Robinia x decaisneana Pink wisteria tree Y Y N
Sapium sebiferum Chinese tallowwood Y ± Y
Sequoiadendron giganteum Big tree ? N N
Sophora japonica Japanese pagoda tree ? ? Y
Sophora japonica “Princeton Upright” “Princeton Upright” pagoda tree ? ? Y
Stenocarpus sinuatus Firewheel tree Y ? Y
Taxodium distichum Swamp cypress Y Y ?
Tilia americana “Bailyard” Frontyard ? ? ?
Tilia cordata ‘Chancole’ Chancellor ? ? ?
Toona ciliata Australian red cedar Y Y Y
Zelkova serrata Japanese zelkova Y Y Y
Zelkova serrata “Green Vase” “Green Vase” Japanese zelkova ? ? ?


Acacia melanoxylon (Blackwood)

  • Azalea Drive Lockleys, planted 2001
  • Shannon Avenue Glenelg North, planted 2000
Stock type:
  • 300mm spring ring
  • Shannon Avenue planting in 2000 showed surprisingly good survival and growth rates, similar rates since achieved in Azalea Drive.
  • Mature characteristics under street conditions are as yet unknown.
  • Suitable for additional small street plantings on a trial basis or for wider use on reserves etc.

Acer buergerianum (Trident maple)

  • Berrima Street Glenelg North, planted 1998, sand, pH 7.5
  • Byron Avenue Netley, planted 1998, Sand, pH 7.5
  • Garfield Avenue Kurralta Park, planted 1998, clay, pH 5.5 – 7
  • Goldfinch Avenue Cowandilla, planted 1998, clay, pH 7.5
  • North Parade Torrensville, planted 1998, clay, pH 6.5 – 7
  • Woodhead St. West Beach (removed winter 2000) sand, pH 6 – 6.5
Stock type:
  • bare-root trees approx 1.5 to 1.8m tall
  • The trees in alkaline loams and clays have performed well with good survival & growth rates, slower growth rates neutral soils.
  • Trees in the acidic sandy site (Woodhead Street) all performed poorly & were replaced in year 2.
  • Several trees were destroyed at various sites (vandalism), other trees died as a result of gas leakage at the Goldfinch Avenue site.
  • Experience with small bare-root stock (1m to 1.4m tall with 8 -–10mm caliper) in both street and nursery suggests it is likely to fail (most examples did not survive through their first spring) while larger bare-root stock (~ 1.5 – 1.8m tall) had good survival and growth rates.


Acer campestre “Evelyn” (Queen Elizabeth hedge maple)

  • Brook Street Plympton, planted 2000,
  • Halifax Street Hilton, planted 2000
  • Henry Street Plympton, planted 2000, clay, pH 7 – 7.5
  • Raffles Crescent Plympton, planted 2000, clay, pH 7.5
  • Cawthorne Street Thebarton, median, planted 2000,
Stock type:
  • bare-root trees approx 1.5 to 1.8m tall
  • Good survival and growth rates at all sites.
  • Apparently hardy & worth considering for street planting.
  • Viable winged seed may become an issue.

Acer monspessulanum (Montpellier maple)

  • Liley Street Hilton, planted 2000, clay
  • check mature examples at the Waite Arboretum.
Stock type:
  • 10 liter polythene bag, approx 1.2m tall
  • Results inconsistent, only 10 trees planted of average quality stock, growth slow.
  • More trial planting needed.
  • Difficult to obtain good stock.

Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore)

  • Berrima Street Glenelg North, planted 1998, sand, pH 7.5
  • Castlebar Road Lockleys, planted 1998, loam & clay, pH 6 – 6.5
  • Daringa Street Mile End, planted 1998, clay, pH 6 – 6.5
  • Garfield Avenue Kurralta Park, planted 1998, clay, pH 6.5 – 7
  • Pine Avenue Novar Gardens, planted 1998, sand, pH 7
  • Woodhead St. West Beach, planted 1998, sandy loam, pH 6 – 7.5
Stock type:
  • Bare-root trees approx 1.8-2 meters tall x 20mm caliper
  • Apparently hardy.
  • Very slow growth rate, particularly in lighter soils.
  • Mature examples located since trial planting confirm mature height of approx 5 metres.
  • Extensive & unsightly leaf burn in summer.
  • No further trial plantings planned, established sites considered adequate.

Acer x freemanii  “Jeffersred” (Autumn Blaze hybrid maple)

  • Marion Road Plympton, planted 1999, sandy loam, pH 8.5 – 9
  • Autumn Avenue Lockleys, planted 1999, clay, pH 7
  • Falcon Avenue Mile End, Neighbourhood House front garden
  • Kimber Terrace Kurralta Park, planted 2001
  • Langdon Street Brooklyn Park, planted 2002
Stock type:
  • advanced bare-root stock, approx 3m tall with 30mm caliper
  • 100% survival rate and variable but good growth rates at all sites.
  • no leaf burn evident.

Acer x freemanii “Scarsen” (Scarlet Sentinel hybrid maple)

  • Mortimer Street Kurralta Park, planted 2001,
Stock type:
  • bare-root stock
  • Good survival rate but slow growth rate in first year.
  • Requires further local trials.

Angophora costata “Little Gumball” (Little gumball apple myrtle)

  • Shannon Avenue Glenelg North, planted 1999
Stock type:
  • 300mm spring ring
  • No trees surviving past year 2.
  • No further trials planned.

Backhousia citriodora  (Lemon-scented myrtle)

  • Craig St. Richmond, planted 2000, sandy loam, pH 7.5,
  • Carlisle St. Camden Pk, planted 2000, sandy loam, pH 8.5
Stock type:
  • 330mm spring ring, approx 1.3m tall with 20mm caliper
  • Inconclusive, small number of trees planted for individual residents (trees not watered by Council but by residents).
  • Survival whilst not maintained by Council suggests the species warrants further planting on trial basis.
  • Growth rate slow (expect more satisfactory with regular maintenance)
  • Future small scale trials needed.

Banksia grandis

  • Norman Street Underdale, planted in traffic calming devices at intersections with Fernleigh and Pearse Streets, planted 2001.
  • Dew Street Mile End, in road closures.
Stock type:
  • 330mm spring ring
  • Good survival rates, growth rates slow but acceptable.
  • Road closure locations etc. selected to minimize “care” by local residents.

Banksia integrifolia (Coast banksia)

  • Shannon Avenue Glenelg North, site excavated to construct Sturt     River levees prior to lining with concrete, texture & pH vary greatly.
  • Wilkes Street West Beach, planted 1999
Stock type:
  • 200mm pot
  • Variable, significant losses.
  • Those surviving have slow growth rate, some chlorosis.
  • Mature examples can be seen in Raymond Avenue Netley and Sandilands Street Lockleys.
  • Worth considering for planting as individual specimens in reserves, limited street application.

Banksia serrata (Saw banksia)

Few examples planted on Shannon Avenue verge in 1999, significant losses, similar results to B. integrifolia.  Surviving plants deteriorating.

Brachychiton acerifolius (Illawarra flame tree)

  • Diosma Crescent Lockleys, planted alternately with Jacaranda mimosifolia for contrasting flower colour in spring/summer, planted 2000.
  • Douglas Street Lockleys, planted 2000.
Stock type:
  • Advanced balled & burlapped.
  • All trees surviving.
  • Slow growth rate.
  • Limited street application due to mature size and space requirements.

Brachychiton populneum

  • Airport Road Brooklyn Park, planted on median in 2001.
Stock type:
  • 400mm rocket pot.
  • 3 months since planting, all growing vigorously.
  • Limited street application due to mature size and space requirements.

Brachychiton rupestris (Queensland bottle tree)

  • Airport Road median Brooklyn Park, 11 trees planted 2002.
  • Westside Bikeway Reserve, cnr. Birkalla Terrace and Stonehouse Avenue Camden Park, 3 trees planted 2002
Stock type:
  • 400mm rocket pot.
  •  3 months since planting, all growing vigorously.
  • Limited street application due to mature size and space requirements.

Buckinghamia celsissima (Ivory curl tree)

  • Concord Street Netley, planted 1998, sand, pH 7.5 – 8
  • Allchurch Avenue Plympton, planted 1998, clay, pH 6 – 7
  • Wyatt Street Plympton, planted 1998, clay, pH 6.5 – 7
Stock type:
  • 200mm pot and 500mm spring ring
  • Larger stock showed good survival and growth rates.
  • Survival and growth rates of small stock lower than larger stock.
  • Large stock flowered well in first year, smaller stock first flowered in year 3.
  • Survival and growth rates at the sandy (Concord Street) site were unsatisfactory.
  • Worthy of further planting on trial basis but not in light soils.

Caesalpinia ferrea (Leopard tree)

  • David Court Lockleys, planted 2000, sandy loam, pH 6 – 7
  • Muirfield Street Novar Gardens, planted 2000, sand, pH 7
  • Edward Davies Street North Plympton, planted 2000, clay, pH 8
Stock type:
  • 300mm spring ring
  • Survival rate good but growth rate slow
  • Worthy of consideration for further trials of limited numbers
  • Further trials may include increased feeding to determine impact on growth rates

Castanospermum australe (Black bean, Morton Bay chestnut)

  • Talbot Street Plympton, planted 1998, clay, pH 6.5 – 7.
Stock type:
  • 200mm pot
  • Growth and survival rates good in bare earth and dolomite but poor in turf.
  • Trees in turf improved markedly following heavy application of organic fertiliser.
  • Worthy of further trial to determine suitability to alternative conditions.

Cercis canadensis (Redbud)

  • Dudley Avenue North Plympton, planted 1999, sandy loam, pH 8
Stock type:
  • 25 litre bag
  • Good survival and growth rate
  • Worth considering further trial planting

Cercis canadensis “Forest Pansy”

  • Harris Street Netley, planted 2002
Stock type:
  • 33cm pot
  •  no information available.

Corymbia eximia (Yellow bloodwood)

  • Raymond Avenue North Plympton, planted 1999, sand.
  •  Reserve cnr. McArthur Avenue & Long Street Plympton, planted 1999.
  • Frank Norton Reserve, Rankine Road Torrensville, planted 1999.
Stock type:
  • 25 litre bag
  • Good survival & growth rates.
  • Stock at planting showed weak/poor root development, would not have passed the “Burnley Test.”

Corymbia ptychocarpa x ficifolia “Summer Red.” (“Summer Red”)

  • Lorraine Avenue Lockleys, planted 1999.
  • Sir Donald Bradman Drive Brooklyn Pk, planted 1999, clay, pH 8.
  • Hoylake Street Novar Gardens, planted 2000.
  • Freda Street Netley, planted 2000.
Stock type:
  • 200mm pot
  • Survival rates generally good but growth rates slow to average
  • Basal suckering from rootstock ( tessellaris) is of concern, occasional suckers on heavy soils but very few in sandy areas, suckers rapidly outgrow the grafted hybrid
  • Future planting will be limited until mature characteristics can be determined

Cupaniopsis anacardioides (Tuckeroo)

  • planted as a replacement for Queensland box (Lophostemon confertus) in many locations throughout West Torrens since 1998 including:
  • Rawlings Avenue Torrensville, planted 1998, clay, pH 6.
  • Baroda Avenue Netley, planted 2000, sand.
  • Hayward Avenue Torrensville, planted 1998.
  • Lorraine Avenue Lockleys, planted 1999.
Stock type:
  • 300mm spring ring
  • Survival and growth rates good in most situations.
  • Early indications suggest a hardy species suited to local conditions.
  • Vandalism has been an ongoing problem in some locations.
  • Future planting will be limited until mature characteristics can be determined.

Dais cotonifolia (Pompom tree)

  • reserve on cnr. Henley Beach Road and Ayton Avenue at Fulham.
Stock type:
  • bare-root specimens removed from private garden, height 1.1–1.3m.
  • Surviving in a relatively harsh & exposed site with little attention.
  • Slow growth rate.
  • Further trials to be considered in future.

Elaeocarpus reticulatus (Blueberry ash)

  • Selby Street Kurralta Park, planted 1998, clay, pH 8.5 – 9
Stock type:
  • 330mm spring ring.
  • Survival rate acceptable but growth rate slow.
  • Fruit (similar in size & appearance to that of Ligustrum lucidum) may be of concern.
  • No further trials planned.

Eucalyptus dielsii (Diel’s mallee)

  • Shannon Avenue Glenelg North, planted 2001.
  • Dew Street Mile End (road closure) planted 2001.
Stock type:
  • 330mm spring ring.
  • Good survival and growth rates at all sites.
  • Planted on road closures for screening (bushy growth habit while young).
  • Further trials required.

Eucalyptus leucoxylon “Austraflora Euky Dwarf” (“Euky Dwarf”)

  • Myzantha Street Lockleys, planted 1998, sandy loam, pH 8
  • Carlisle Street Camden Park, planted 1998, sandy loam, pH 7.5
Stock type:
  • 200mm spring ring.
  • Rapid growth rates but poor survival rates due to high incidence of vandalism (eucalypts unpopular with many residents).
  • Variable growth habit, frequently multi-stemmed.
  • At this stage similar in appearance & growth characteristics to leucoxylon ssp. megalocarpa.
  • No further trials anticipated.

Flindersia australis (Crow’s ash)

  • Tennyson Street Kurralta Park, planted 1998, clay, pH 7 – 7.5
  • Allchurch Avenue North Plympton, planted 1998, clay, pH 7 – 7.5
  • Howden Road Fulham, planted winter 1998, clay, pH 6 – 6.5
  • Planted:  winter 1998
Stock type:
  • 330mm & 500mm spring ring
  • Variable & inconclusive, good survival & growth rates in Tennyson Street and Allchurch Avenue but poor in Howden Road, apparently preferring slightly alkaline soil to slightly acid
  • Best growth & vigor in bare earth and dolomite verges, worst in turf
  • Trials have been restricted to large sites, future use will be limited until mature characteristics in street situations can be determined.
  • Mature example in street situation can bee seen in Plympton Primary School grounds cnr. Long & Owen Streets Plympton.Sites:

Flindersia xanthoxyla (Yellow wood)

  •  Airport Road Brooklyn Park (median) planted 1998, 31 trees.
Stock type:
  •  200mm spring ring
  • variable & inconclusive
  • trees in more sheltered areas had higher survival and growth rates but growth still slow.
  • Many trees replaced in winter 2002 with Brachychiton populneum
  • No further trials planned

Fraxinus americana ‘Appldell’ Autumn Applause

  •  Good Street Reserve Fulham, planted 2001
  • Kesmond Reserve, Everard Avenue Keswick, planted 2001
Stock type:
  •  40cm rocket pot
  • Only 2 trees planted as a preliminary trial
  • Both trees survived a dry summer with minimal care
  • Ongoing monitoring over coming years will determine suitability for additional trials

Fraxinus ornus (Manna ash)

  • Allen Avenue Brooklyn Park, planted 1998.
  • Marshall Terrace Brooklyn Park, planted 1997.
  • Hunter Street Fulham, planted 1997.
Stock type:
  •  Bare-root stock, 1.2 – 1.5 m tall
  • Good survival and growth rates.
  • Ash white fly infestations seasonal, can be severe.  

Fraxinus ornus “Arie Peters” (“Arie Peter’s” Manna ash)

  • James Street Brooklyn Park, planted 2000, clay, pH 8.5 – 9.
  • Watson Avenue Netley, planted 2000, clay.
Stock type:
  •  bare-root stock
  • good survival rate but growth slowed by heavy infestations of ash white fly
  • Flowers more abundant than for seedling F. ornus.

Fraxinus Raywood grafted to F. ornus rootstock (Claret ash)

  • Lewis Street Brooklyn Park, planted 1998, clay, pH 5.5 – 7.
  • North Parade Torrensville, planted 1998, clay, pH 6.5 – 7.
  • Examples in Waite Arboretum on alternative rootstock.
Stock type:
  •  bare-root stock.
  • Good survival and growth rates.
  • Further trials required

Fraxinus pennsylvanica “Urbanite” (“Urbanite” green ash)

  • Hounslow Avenue Cowandilla, planted 2001.
  • 48-50 Capper Street Camden Park, planted 2001.
Stock type:
  •  200mm pot.
  • Stock delivered midday during 40o C January heatwave, wilted & shed most leaves, vigorous new leaf growth within fortnight.
  • Survival rate good, growth rate slow.
  • Further trials required.

Fraxinus velutina (Velvet ash)

  • Allen Avenue Brooklyn Park, planted 1998, clay, pH 6 – 7
  • Talbot Street North Plympton, planted 1998, clay, pH 6 – 8
  • Chatswood Grove Underdale, planted 1998, clay, pH 6 – 6.5
  • Lewis Street Brooklyn Park, planted 1998, clay, sandy loam, pH 6
Stock type:
  •  Advanced bare-root stock
  • Proving reliable in dolomite & lawn verges
  • Good survival & growth rates

Geijera parviflora (Wilga, Australian willow)

  • Carlisle Street Camden Park, planted 1998, sandy loam, pH 7.5
  • Owen Street Plympton, planted July 2001
  • Grove Avenue Marleston, planted 2002
  • Lasscock Avenue Lockleys, planted 1998, clay, pH 6.5 – 7
  • Argyle Avenue Marleston, planted 1998, clay, pH 7
  • Garfield Avenue Kurralta Park, planted 1998,
Stock type:
  •  200mm spring ring (Owen & Grove: 300mm spring ring)
  • Good survival rates in bare earth and dolomite.
  • Competition with Kikuyu turf significantly reduces success, slowing growth rate & increasing losses.
  • One example not watered for 6 weeks over summer shed all leaves but regenerated well soon after regular watering began again.
  • Limited stock availability due to 3 year production time to 330mm spring ring size requires stock ordering up to 3 years in advance.
  • Now planted in annual greening projects.
  • Experience in the United States suggests life expectancy as street specimens of 25 to 50 years (McPherson et. al (1999) p. 52)

Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair tree)

  • Boston Avenue Lockleys, planted 1997.
  • Brooklyn Avenue Brooklyn Park, planted 1998.
  • Samuel Street Fulham, planted 1999.
  • Sycamore Avenue Novar Gardens, planted 1998
Stock type:
  •  200mm pot & 25 litre bag.
  • Observation of a single example planted by a resident in an exposed dolomite verge first suggested suitability for street use.
  • Survival rates generally good, growth rates slow.
  • Some trees lost due to ring-barking by brush cutter.

Gleditsia tricanthos “Elegantissima”

  • 18 Packard Street North Plympton, planted 2002.
  • Lyons Street Brooklyn Park, cnr Clivan Street, planted 2002
  • Keswick Road Ashford, planted 2002
Stock type:
  •  25 litre bag.
  •  No information available.

Harpullia hillii

  •  Basnett Street Kurralta Park, planted 1998, sandy loam, pH 8
Stock type:
  •  200mm pot & 330mm spring ring.
  • Larger stock has good survival rate and fast growth rates following year 2, initial growth slow.
  • Larger stock flowered in year 4.
  • Marked difference between larger & smaller stock, small stock has reduced growth rates, has not yet flowered and was subject to vandalism.
  • Requires further trials.

Harpullia pendula (Tulipwood)

  •  Wyatt Street Plympton, planted 1998, clay, pH 6.5
Stock type:
  •  25 litre bag.
  • Acceptable survival rate but slow growth rate
  • Greatest growth occurred within a few weeks following summer rainfall
  • Reports indicate reasonable performance in trials in City of Marion
  • Further trials required

Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei  “Indian Summer” crepe myrtles.

“Tuscarora,” “Biloxi,” “Sioux” & “Natchez” varieties.

  • “Tuscarora” – Cygnet Street Novar Gardens, planted 2001
  • Kimber Terrace, planted 2001
  • Samuel Street Fulham, planted 1999
  • “Biloxi” – Elm Street Mile End, planted 2001
  • “Sioux” – Chambers Avenue Richmond, planted 2001
  • “Natchez” – Prettyjohn Court Underdale, planted 1999
Stock type:
  •  25 litre bag, bare-root (Samuel Street)
  • Good survival rates & acceptable growth rates.
  • Moisture appears to be the major limiting factor initially.
  • May bloom in first summer given adequate watering, making them a favourite with many residents.

Michaelia doltsopa (Wong lan)

  • Cummins Reserve, Saratoga Drive Novar Gardens, planted 2000
  • Wilson Street Cowandilla, planted 2000, removed 2001
Stock type:
  •  200mm pot
  • 10 trees planted, most died within six months
  • Single surviving tree in sheltered location with root competition from surrounding reserve trees, has not grown since planting.
  • No further trials planned.

Pistachia chinensis (Chinese pistachio)

  • Bignell Street Richmond, planted 2000
  • Glenburnie Terrace Plympton, planted 2000
  • Neston Avenue Plympton, planted 2000
  • Talbot Street Hilton, planted 2000
Stock type:
  •  300mm and 200mm pot.
  • Good survival and growth rates, significantly better for larger stock.
  • Difficult to source stock of 2m height with a single straight leader of sufficient strength to be free standing at planting.
  • Recommend personal selection of stock. 

Pyrus calleryana (Callery pear)

  • calleryanaBradford” Pistolier Street Plympton, planted 1994
  • Weetunga Street Fulham, planted 1999/2002
  • calleryanaCapital” John Street Marleston, planted 1999
  • Albert Street Richmond, planted 2001 & 2002
  • calleryanaChanticleer” Roeburn Street Lockleys, planted 1999
  • Durant Street Plympton, planted 2000
  • Marion Road North Plympton, planted 2000
  • calleryana “Lynington” Noble Avenue Lockleys, planted 2002
  • calleryanaWinterglow “ Bonython Avenue Novar Gardens, planted 1997
Stock type:
  •  most stock bare-rooted, few 25 litre poly bag.
  • all varieties appear hardy & suitable to most local conditions
  • high survival rates, though losses common in summer 2000/01 when weekly watering was restricted to approximately 15 litres by dish size (normal weekly watering 1st year is 45 – 50 litres)
  • widely planted in annual greening programs
  • bare-root stock passes “Burnley Test” after 6 months

Pyrus ussuriensis (Manchurian pear)


Quercus canariensis (Algerian oak)

  • Arden Avenue Lockleys (median), planted 2000

Quercus cerris (Turkey oak)

  • Errington Street Reserve Plympton, planted 1999
  • Cummins Reserve, Sheoak Avenue Novar Gardens, planted 1999
  • McArthur Avenue North Plympton, planted 2000
  • Brecon Court Lockleys, planted 2000
  • 1999: 500mm spring ring, 2000: adv balled & burlapped

Quercus coccinia (Scarlet oak)

  • Cummins Reserve, Sheoak Avenue Novar Gardens, planted 2001

Quercus ilex (Holly oak)

  • Northern Avenue West Beach, planted 2001
  • Siesta Avenue Reserve West Beach, planted 2001
  • Kevin Avenue Reserve West Beach, planted 2001
  • All of the above: 330mm spring ring.
  • Mature examples: Victoria Street Henley Beach

Quercus robur (English oak)

  • Tyson Street Ashford, planted 1995, 25 litre poly bag
  • Birdwood Court  North Plympton, planted 1999, 25 litre poly bag

Quercus robur “Fastigiata” (Fastigiate English oak)

  • Hoylake Street Reserve Novar Gardens, planted 1997
  • Wells Reserve, Errington Street Plympton, planted 1997
  • 10 litre poly bag.

Quercus suber (Cork oak)

  • Layton Street Fulham, planted 2001
  • Stuckey Avenue Underdale, planted 2001
  • Lindfield Avenue Reserve Novar Gardens, planted 2002
  • College Grove Reserve, Lipsett Terrace Brooklyn Park, 2002

White Avenue Lockleys

  • Results similar to P. calleryana varieties, widely used in greening programs.
Stock type:  2001: 330 spring ring,   2002: 400mm rocket pot.
  • All species show good survival rates
  • growth rate reasonable for Q. cerris, other species slow, Q. palustris extremely slow

Robinia x decaisneana (Pink wisteria tree)

  • Cranbrook Avenue Underdale, planted 1994, removed 2001
  • Birkalla Terrace Plympton, planted 1995
  • Harvey Street Marleston, planted 1995
  • Frasten Street Torrensville, planted 1995, removed 2002
Stock type:
  •  bare-root stock.
  • Good survival and growth rates at all sites.
  • Root suckering problems identified early at many sites.
  • Problems with thorns, particularly if basal suckers not maintained.
  • Most trees removed within 5 years due to problems.

Sapium sebiferum (Chinese tallowwood)

  •  Dudley Avenue Plympton, planted 1999, clay.
Stock type:
  •  25 litre poly bag
  • Variable, some trees died during first year or so, some with slow growth rates.
  • Good survival and growth rates in sites where additional water provided by residents.
  • Feeling in first 2 years was that the species did not warrant further consideration, but after 3 years some trees began to show promise.
  • Further trials needed provided quality stock are available.

Sequoiadendron giganteum (Big tree)

Planted for curiosity value in 1999.

  • Eltham, Orwin and Sherwin Courts Fulham (1 tree in each median)
  • Lockleys Oval, Moresby Street frontage, Lockleys
  • Kesmond Reserve, Everard Avenue Keswick
Stock type:
  •  24” plastic tub.
  • Seven trees planted in total, one tree died and one damaged through vandalism, one tree was overlooked by relief water truck operator for four weeks during summer 1999/2000 and did not recover.
  • The four trees remaining have slow growth rates, approximately 150mm apical growth in 3 years.

Sophora japonica (Japanese pagoda tree)

  • Lew Street Netley, planted 2000, loam
  • Ruthven Avenue Glandore, planted 2000, compacted heavy clay
Stock type:
  •  25 litre bag
  •  Planted in difficult sites, some losses


Sophora japonica “Princeton Upright” (“Princeton Upright” pagoda tree)

  • Cranbrook Avenue Underdale, planted 2001, loam
  • Gunnawarra Avenue Camden Park, planted 2001, clay
  • Lea Street North Plympton, planted 2000, sand
Stock type:
  •  advanced bare-root
  •  Some losses, growth slow.

Stenocarpus sinuatus (Firewheel tree)

  • Lorraine Avenue Lockleys, planted 1999
  • East Parkway, planted 2001 / 2002
Stock type:
  •  25 litre bag
  • Good survival rates but growth slow.
  • Trees suffer during winter, minor frost damage.

Taxodium distichum (Swamp cypress)

  •  Mile End Common, Bagshaw Way Mile End, planted 2000
Stock type:
  •  Advanced balled & burlapped.
  • 2 trees only planted in a poorly drained site.
  • Both trees surviving, growth slow

Tilia americana “Bailyard” Frontyard

  • Good Street Reserve Fulham, planted 2001
  • Kesmond Reserve, Everard Avenue Keswick, planted 2001
Stock type:
  •  40cm rocket pot
  • Only 2 trees planted as a preliminary trial
  • Both trees survived a dry summer with minimal care
  • Ongoing monitoring over coming years will determine suitability for additional trials

Tilia cordata “Chancole” Chancellor

  • Details as for Tilia americana

Toona ciliata (Australian red cedar)

  •  Airport Road Brooklyn Park (median), planted 2000
Stock type:
  •  25 litre poly bag
  • Drip irrigated, 100% survival rate.
  • Growth rapid & rate increased further following mulching to 3.5m diameter.

Zelkova serrata (Japanese zelkova)

  •  Sarah Street Marleston, planted 1998, clay, pH 8.5-9
  • Washington Street Hilton, planted 1998, clay, pH 8
  • Wakefield Street Brooklyn Park, planted 1998
Stock type:
  •  Bare-root
  •  Good survival & growth rates.

Zelkova serrata “Green Vase” (“Green Vase” Japanese zelkova)

  •  Henley Beach Road Torrensville, planted 1999
Stock type:
  •  Bare-root
  • Contaminated site, trees were replacements for failed
  • Many losses, though some trees survived where Platanus did not.
  • Further trials required.


  1. Gordon Bain on October 3, 2020 at 8:39 am

    I’m trying to identify the column shaped trees planted in the middle of Sir Donald Bradman Drive near the beehive shaped stone cairns – they look as though they’re gums – any help appreciated.
    Thanks for your time

  2. Stephen Fuller on August 21, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    The species being trialled seem to exclude most Adelaide Plains indigenous species. Is this because there is already substantial existing knowledge about them?
    If we are to address the biodiversity issues of the urban setting presumably the indigenous species would be preferable due to the services that they provide to local fauna.
    There is much interest in creating/preserving habitat for local fauna and the flora that we plant is critical to this.
    So when considering species how are the various characteristics of each species weighted?
    Eg shade, seasons, litter, maintenance, $ costs, impact on underground/overhead services, aesthetics (and whose aesthetics), community education opportunities, water, habitat services, toxicity, irritants, limb drop, replacement schedule, allergens etc
    With the prospect of Adelaide becoming a National Park city and an increasing community awareness of biodiversity and sustainability issues it seem to me to be critical that a bias towards local provenance indigenous flora and the fauna that they support should be at the top of the list of species selection consideration.
    We have a legacy of white cedars, jacarandas, lemon scented gums, London plane trees, Norfolk Is pines and on and on it goes many of which are now considered to be iconic by some but provide little service to our fauna and many in our community are unaware that none of these species are indigenous.
    Decision makers need to be transparent about the basis and logic of their decisions. It would seem that past decision makers were either ignorant or dismissive of the biodiversity and sustainability issues related to street tree selection.
    Surely we need to make every effort to re/connect people to the natural world and our part of it by finding as many places as possible for our endemic flora as possible and educating our residents about how local ecosystems can be protected/restored.
    I realise that integrating the complex features of urban setting with ecosystems and changing human preferences can be daunting but the transition to sustainability is a problem that we’ve created for ourselves to solve.

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