Tree selection

Suitable tree species for City of Onkaparinga help us ensure a sustainable streetscape.

The right tree for the right place

Successful urban tree planting depends on the consideration of many factors. The selection of an appropriate tree species is the first step in a process that can lead to a successful landscape.

In general, a tree must be suitable for your geographic region, tolerant to the moisture and drainage conditions of your soil, be resistant to pests in your area, and have the right form and size for the site. In short ‘The right tree for the right place.’

Some specific considerations for tree selection are:

  • Aesthetic considerations that allow the tree/s to enhance the visual amenity of a landscape without negative impact to surrounding features.
  • Biological requirements that relate to a trees ability to tolerate urban conditions. The species selected should have high tolerance levels that will allow establishment while producing desired benefits. Available root space to sustain the potential tree size and the ability for the tree to withstand drought conditions should be a primary consideration.
  • Functional and spatial issues include the ability of a tree to be pruned so as to provide required clearances and consideration that a tree root system may have the potential to impact adjacent infrastructure.

Inherent characteristics

There is no perfect tree suited to every site and condition; each tree has its own unique conditions in a particular environment and situation. Particular qualities may make certain trees more desirable for landscape plantings and may include the following tree characteristics:

  • predictable size and form
  • long-lived
  • strong crown structure (branch and stem attachments)
  • resistant to attack by pests and disease
  • rapid growth
  • non-allergenic
  • ease of transplanting and establishment
  • tolerant of a wide range of environment conditions
  • minimal litter (leaf and fruit)
  • non-invasive.

Site assessment

The specific planting site must first be evaluated to determine the biological tolerances required of the tree/s for the particular site. If trees are matched appropriately to the site conditions they will help create the desired design outcome, function and aesthetics for the landscape.

Factors that need to be assessed at the planting site may include, the size of the property, determining how much of the property you want a tree canopy to cover, the mature size of a tree, underground elements such as pipes, wall and housing foundations as well as any other services that may be present.

Other considerations may include on site or underground infrastructure, overshadowing, privacy, potential damage to hard surfaces by tree roots or material that is dropped by the tree.

Remember that a tree canopy is not restricted by property boundaries and neighbours are entitled by law to prune back branches to the common boundary. This may result in a tree with an unsightly appearance.

Trees suitable for City of Onkaparinga

The City of Onkaparinga uses a variety of indigenous and exotic trees for its streets and reserves, for further information relating to appropriate species for your specific location please feel free to use the SA Botanic Gardens Plant Selector Tool.

For further information please visit their website