Four of the Best Summer Flowering Trees 

Hello Gardeners,Metrosideros (Pohutukawa) | Rukuhia Homestead Landscaping a happy new year to you all! I hope you get a lot of pleasure from your garden in 2015!

Since xmas,when driving around the waikato and near the coast, I have seen some beautiful flowering trees. Today i want to mention four of these great "summer performers"

METROSIDEROS (POHUTUKAWA - N.Z. XMAS TREE) – In Auckland recently I saw the best pohutukawa specimen tree that I have ever seen. This particular tree looked like it was at least 100 years old, and it had so much bloom on, that you couldnt see any foliage.

There are many varieties of pohutukawa avaliable these days, something to fit any size section.

There are some really small ones like METROSIDEROS TAHITI and METROSIDEROS RED BABY - both perfect for containers on the patio or planted as a small hedge. They can handle all the wind and are super performers when the soil has little moisture.

As far as the medium growing types - varieties like METROSIDEROS CRIMSON GLORY and METROSIDEROS MISTRAL are both great performers - making great hedges on top of a hill facing the prevailing wind or at the beach to screen out the neighbours. A hedge will cover itself in red flowers for xmas/new year - what a perfect choice for when at the beach over the summer months.

If you are after a bigger growing variety that you can plant on the front lawn as a lovely specimen tree, then a couple of good varieties are METROSIDEROS VIBRANCE and METROSIDEROS MAORI PRINCESS - select a tree with a single main leader, trim off its lower branches so it has a clear trunk to at least 1.5m high, and a yearly light tipping will keep it looking in top shape. Both of these two varieties have good sized flowers, and will reliably put on a beautiful floral display for xmas each year.

ALBIZZIA JULIBRISSEN  ROSEA - (SILK TREE) - a  reliable flowering performer, every summer. This tree has a beautiful wide canopy and will provide lovely dappled shade on the lawn, perfect to use as a natural sun umbrella over the childrens pay area/sandpit. Over the summer months there is a mass of fluffy redish/pink silk like flowers, across the whole tree. Because these trees are grown from seed, they can vary a bit in what colour of flowers you end up with. While driving around Hamilton over the last week, I have noticed flowers ranging from pure white, right through to deep cerise red. When the tree is young, keep taking off the lower branches so that you end up with a specimen tree with a nice clear trunk, so that its easy to walk or sit under. Also, while the tree is young and actively growing, keep the central leader firmly staked, so that its kept very nice and straight, this will give you the best possible looking specimen later on when the tree is mature. Each year you will need to trim off any downward facing branches to keep the canopy up, because the side branching tends to hang quite low to the ground if you dont. A good tough performer, where its a bit windy, and quite dry.

EUCALYPTUS FICIFOLIA - (RED FLOWERING GUM) - a reasonably big growing flowering tree, but if you have the room this tree creates a truely spectacular flowering display over January/February. The flowers are generally a good scarlet red and can vary through to orange tones. This flowering gum, is a little bit frost tender when young, so the first couple of winters wrap some frost cloth around the sides, and over the top if the frosts are extra heavy. As it matures, it will get tougher and more easily handle a drop in temperature. The birds and bees love the nectar from this tree, so a good option if you want to bring tuis and other birdlife to your garden. A very good option as a feature tree at your coastal property.

JACARANDA MIMOSAFOLIA - I personally like this flowering tree, because the intensity of the blue flowers is very striking over the hot  summer months. When young, this tree also needs a bit of protection from frosts and very strong winds.

I would prefer to plant this one, on a more sheltered site, because after all it naturally comes from a more tropical climate. There are some fine specimens around Hamilton and if you are in coastal cities towns like Tauranga, Thames, Raglan, Auckland and Far North you will see them everywhere. I would definitely advise to keep the central leader staked, and the lower branching removed if you want it as a lovely lawn specimen, or you can keep it with more of a bushy habit if you dont want it too tall, by trimming it back hard at the end of each winter. This will encourage more lateral branching. So grow this tree, to whatever shape fits the look you are wanting.

Once your trees get large enough in your garden, buy yourself a hammock and hang between two specimen trees, and spend the afternoon relaxing with a book.

Happy Gardening,

Albizzia Julibrissen Josea (Silk Tree) | Rukuhia Homestead Landscaping
Eucalyptus Ficifolia (Red Flowering Gum) | Rukuhia Landscaping
Jacaranda Mimosifolia | Rukuhia Homestead Landscaping | Graeme Burton


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Graeme Burton - Landscaper - Rukuhia Homestead, RD2, Ohaupo 3882
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