Your browser does not support script
Home Search Disclaimer Login/Register
Updated : 21/9/2014

Tree Planting

Instant Tree Nursery

Plot 42 Heidelbergroad (M35), Rondebult, Germiston, Johannesburg, South Africa
P.O Box 391, Rondebult, Germiston, 1423

Tel: +27(0)11 906-9901
Fax: +27(0)11 906-9900

Email: /

As the most prominent and long-lived plants in the garden, trees form the framework and influence the style and choice of other plants and as such need to be carefully chosen and positioned.

The importance of trees is immeasurable, aesthetically as well as for privacy, shade and a haven for wildlife. Indigenous trees are usually better suited and more appropriate to local conditions.

Acacia Tree largeBefore choosing a tree, consider the growth characteristics and the site conditions:

  • Evergreen for screening, windbreaks, a shady corner, noise barriers, less 'mess'.
  • Deciduous for shade in summer, more light / sun in winter, autumn tints.
  • Maximum height and spread, keeping scale of tree to size of property in mind.
  • Local growing conditions - temperature extremes, wind, soil and rainfall.
  • Growth form - narrow, pyramidal, rounded or loose at the top.
  • Fast growing or slow to mature.
  • Root system and proximity to boundary walls, structures, pools or paving.
  • Ornamental features - flowers, fruit, bark or leaf texture and colour.
  • Attracting wildlife - food, nesting, safety for birds and food for butterflies.
  • Maintenance required - feeding, watering, pruning.
  • Trees will probably outlive you, so choose wisely to avoid wasteful and expensive mistakes.


  • Dig a generous hole at least 3 times the width of the container and twice as deep.
  • Fill the hole with water, allow it to drain and repeat, soaking the subsoil.
  • Loosen the subsoil, add a handful of bone meal and plenty of compost and mix.
  • Divide the removed soil in two and add an equal amount of compost & a handful of bone meal to the one half.
  • Return mixture to the hole, firm down well and remove enough to take the root ball.
  • Plant tree, ensuring that it is at the same depth as it was in its container.
  • Form a basin with the remaining soil. Mulch (away from stem) and water well.
  • Stake young trees. Ensure stake is firm, upright and loosely tied with a figure of 8. Protect soft bark with a stem guard. Check ties regularly and move them. Remove stake when the tree is established.

Feeding and Watering

  • Water young trees slowly, deeply and regularly for the first few years.
  • Replenish mulch and feed with a balanced fertiliser (2:3:2 or 3:2:1) in spring and two or three times during the growing season.

Trees for small gardens

  • Height x spread is approximate, depending on conditions.
  • Indigenous trees are usually better suited and more appropriate to local conditions.


  • Bolusanthus speciosus - Tree wisteria: 6x3m, semi-hardy, deciduous, butterflies
  • Buddleja saligna - False olive: 5x3m, hardy, evergreen, fast screening, butterflies, non-aggressive roots
  • Calpurnia aurea - Wild laburnum, 4x3m, semi-hardy, evergreen, fast
  • Combretum krausii - Forest bushwillow, 8x5m, semi-hardy, semi-deciduous, fast
  • Cussonia paniculata - Highveld cabbage tree (kiepersol),4x2m, hardy, semi-deciduous, birds, butterflies, aggressive roots
  • Dais cotinifolia - Pompom tree, 6x2m, semi-hardy, deciduous, butterflies,
  • Dombeya rotundifolia - Wild pear, 6x4m, , semi-hardy, deciduous, butterflies, non-aggressive roots,
  • Heteropyxis natalensis - Lavender tree, 6x4m, semi-hardy, deciduous, slow, butterflies
  • Loxostylis alata - Tarwood, 4x3m, semi-hardy, evergreen
  • Olea europaea subs. africana - Wild olive, 6x5m, hardy, evergreen, slow, birds, butterflies
  • Rhus leptodictya - Mountain karee, 6x6m, hardy, evergreen, fast, birds, butterflies, non-aggressive roots
  • Rhus pendulina (R. viminalis) - White karee, 7x5m, hardy, evergreen, birds, butterflies
  • Vepris undulata - White ironwood, 7x5m, semi-hardy, evergreen, birds, butterflies, non-aggressive roots


  • Acer buergerianum - Chinese maple, 6x4m, hardy, deciduous
  • Acer palmatum - Japanese maple, 5x3m, sun /semi-shade, hardy, deciduous
  • Betula pendula - Silver birch, 8x4m, hardy, deciduous
  • Cercis siliquastrum - Judas tree, 7x4m, hardy, deciduous
  • Citharexylum quadrangulare - Fiddlewood tree, 6x3m, tender, deciduous
  • Malus floribunda - Japanese flowering crab-apple, 4x3m, hardy, deciduous
  • Prunus serrulata - Japanese flowering cherry, 5x3m, hardy, deciduous

Trees for large gardens (height more than 8m)


  • Acacia species - (A. burkei, A. caffra, A. galpinii, A. robusta, A. sieberiana var. woodii, A. xanthophloea), hardy/ semi-hardy, deciduous
  • Celtis africana - White stinkwood, 12x9m, semi-hardy, deciduous, birds
  • Calodendrum capense - Cape Chestnut, 12x8m, semi-hardy, semi-deciduous, slow, butterflies
  • Combretum erythrophyllum - River bushwillow, 10x8m, hardy, deciduous, fast
  • Cussonia spicata - Kiepersol, 10x3m, sun, semi-hardy, evergreen
  • Ekebergia capensis - Cape ash, 10x8m, semi-hardy, semi-evergreen
  • Erythrina lysistemon - Coral tree, semi-hardy, deciduous
  • Harpephyllum caffrum - Wild plum, 12x7m, semi-hardy, evergreen, birds
  • Ilex mitis - Cape holly, 10x3m, hardy, evergreen, birds, fast
  • Peltophorum africanum - Weeping wattle, 8x8m, semi-hardy, deciduous, fast
  • Podocarpus henkelii - Henkel's yellowwood, 10-20x5m, sun/semi-shade, hardy, evergreen, slow,
  • Ptaeroxylon obliquum - Sneezewood, 10x5m, semi-hardy, evergreen, butterflies
  • Spathodea campanulata - African flame, 13x5m, semi-hardy, semi-deciduous


  • Brachychiton acerifolius - Australian flame, 15x5m, semi-hardy, semi-deciduous
  • Brachychiton discolor - Queensland lacebark, 13x9m, semi-hardy, deciduous
  • Caesalpinia ferrea - Leopard tree, 12x8m, semi-hardy, deciduous, birds
  • Hymenosporum flavum - Australian frangipani, 10x3m, semi-hardy, evergreen, fast
  • Liquidambar styraciflua - Liquidambar, 13x3m, hardy, deciduous, fast
  • Magnolia grandiflora - Tree magnolia, 12x5m, hardy, evergreen, slow
  • Platanus x acerifolia - London plane, 20x22m, hardy, deciduous, fast
  • Quercus palustris - Pin oak, 15x9m, hardy, deciduous, fast
  • Sophora japonica - Japanese pagoda tree, 15x10m, hardy, deciduous
  • Syzigium paniculatum - Brush cherry, 12x5m, semi-hardy, evergreen, fast screening
664 Page Hits