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Canberra plants (hedging)

By clp - 18 October 2010 38

So googling – I discovered this discussion on RiotACT from April 2007 about plants the local ABC had suggested for Canberra.  Unfortunately the link from the ABC no longer works.

We’re about to plant a hedge out the front and it has to deal with some shade (our street trees are Pin Oak).

Everyone seems to do Photinia but I’m not sure whether I want that or not.

Pittosporum seems to vary quite a lot.

Any other thoughts?

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Canberra plants (hedging)
clp 9:41 pm 18 Oct 10

I guess I’ll just check out the best options at Rodney’s (oh and great nursery suggestions would be appreciated – am I better off going to Yarralumla?)

We’re also going to plant some deciduous trees as its a fairly decent size garden front and back. What are your favourite canopy suggestions?

enrique 9:37 pm 18 Oct 10

Photinia Robusta – grows thick and pretty fast, handles the drought, new growth is a stunning red colour, is relatively easier to prune than other varieties.

Comparing this to Pittosporum… I used to live in a house many years ago that had Pittosporum and Photinia. The Pittosporum was a bugger to work with. Sure, it was a dense green ‘wall’ but it was a lot more effort to trim. The foliage is ‘thicker’ and there are lots more leaves/shoots. In other words, you have to go over it many more times than Photinia and it tires you out faster.

Whatever hedge you go with, trim it narrower at the top / thicker at the bottom (i.e. like a letter A). This will allow more light to reach the lower foliage and hence you will avoid a ‘scraggy’ looking hedge with sparse branching/little foliage underneath. Also, trim a fair bit of new growth flat off the top each year while it is growing so you get a denser/thicker hedge (i.e. don’t let it shoot up to a tall height straight away).

While on the subject, check out this place for a cool hedge… http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Braddon,+Australian+Capital+Territory&sll=-25.335448,135.745076&sspn=37.591491,79.013672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Braddon+Australian+Capital+Territory&ll=-35.274866,149.140832&spn=0.001051,0.002411&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=-35.274866,149.140832&panoid=uPbCdjkr7mpEGY0aM-od8w&cbp=12,138.29,,0,5

clp 9:33 pm 18 Oct 10

Thanks for all the suggestions – never had to think about hedges until moved to Canberra. The photinias are looking nice at the moment but did hear they attracted blow flies (is that because of the “off meat smell” – never really smelt them before)?

miz 8:19 pm 18 Oct 10

+1 Viburnum – get Viburnum Tinus – copes with sun and shade frost, wind, the works. I have a row doing great about two metres from established ash trees which I struggle to get others things growing under. and can be either neatly clipped or let to ramble into a lovely, wide shrub. White flowers which are pink in bud. Tough but pretty, and a good screen.

sid 5:16 pm 18 Oct 10

Viburnum are what we have out the front of our place. A dense dark green shrub that grows (in our hedge) to about 1.5m. Nice, sweet smelling flowers in spring too.

Gerry-Built 5:02 pm 18 Oct 10

Many, many people are allergic to the pollen from the Photinia (the common red and green Photina Robusta at least).

Pittosporum are quite good and there are several varieties particularly suited to hedging (James Sterling and Silver Sheen are two we use at the Built-Manor). I love the contrast of the fine, silvery leaves against the fine black bark.

sepi 4:53 pm 18 Oct 10

Go Camelias – they are a tough plant, good in shade, grow well in Canberra, and will look beautiful when they flower. the casino hotel has a hedge of these – lovely. And it survives the drunk hoons and beer bottles etc.

Photinias are easy to grow, but one day they will get too big, and lots of people are allergic to the flowers.

la mente torbida 4:40 pm 18 Oct 10

Everyone seems to do Photinia but I’m not sure whether I want that or not.

I affectionately call Photinia the ‘off meat plant’ because that’s what they smell like when they flower.

la mente torbida 4:24 pm 18 Oct 10

I have a very successful native hedge growing underneath 70 foot high pin oaks. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the hedging plant at the moment. However, if you are really interested I can check it out overnight.

PS: it doesn’t flower but has attractive dark green/maroon foilage.

Alternatively, contact me through RA and I can give you the address as you can see it on google/street view

DeadlySchnauzer 4:05 pm 18 Oct 10

Hakea salicifolia. Another native thats hardy in canberras bad clay soils. Not as pretty flower wise as the callistemons, but is much faster growing afaik.

JessP 4:04 pm 18 Oct 10

clp – The answer is YES!

Sammy 4:01 pm 18 Oct 10

Our photinia hedge is bullet-proof, and easily survived the harshest conditions over the last five years with little to no additional water.

clp 3:49 pm 18 Oct 10

Are camellias too hard?

imarty 3:49 pm 18 Oct 10

Mary Mackillop Callistemon. We planted about 30 along the back fence about a year ago close enough so they’re starting to hedge now. Lots of buds forming so should look stunning in a month or so.
The reason for MMck was they’re narrower that other varieties.

andym 3:47 pm 18 Oct 10

I used Callistemon sp (Bottlebrush) as they are native, look great, attract birds and are fairly hardy. Prune them back after they flower in Nov-Dec to maintain the shape and density.
Kings Park Special is a very good cultivar for this purpose.

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