Sometimes, all it takes is one special plant to take your garden from ordinary to extraordinary. This is where garden feature trees comes along. But how do you know which plant to choose?
Here are four suggestions for stunning specimen trees that will instantly draw the eye, and that visitors to your garden will not be able to resist commenting on!
Best Garden Feature Trees in Australia
Dragon Tree (Dracaena draco)
The Dragon Tree is a wonderful specimen tree that is hugely popular because of its naturally strong architectural features.
Single-crown trees look fantastic when planted in groups (to give a forest effect), whereas multi-headed specimens make excellent standalone feature trees.
Due to its tolerance of lower light levels, it can also make a stunning house or office plant- a real eye-catcher!
Dragon Trees are evergreen, drought tolerant and able to live for hundreds of years. The variety Dracaena draco is more cold tolerant than other Dracaena species so will happily grow in cooler as well as warmer climates.
Dragon Trees can grow to around 10-12 metres in height, and spread to around 4 metres. Its tall, clear trunks are topped with shaggy, rounded heads of long, sword shaped leaves which add wonderful elements of sound, movement and texture to the garden.
They make an excellent alternative to Palm Trees. Here is our comprehensive growing guide for Dragon Tree Dracaena Draco.
Queensland Bottle Tree (Brachychiton rupestris)
The Queensland Bottle Tree is possibly THE most stunning specimen tree you can plant. If any tree can make a visitor's mouth drop in amazement it is this one! It has a huge bulbous trunk which, after around 10 years of growth, can be as large as 4 metres in diameter!
The Bottle Tree is extremely drought tolerant. It stores any water it does get between the inner bark and the trunk. This gives it its unique shape and the reason for its common name of the “Bottle Tree”.
Bottle Trees can grow in a wide variety of soils and aspects and can sustain temperatures from -5 to +45 degrees. They can be used to provide shade from the sun and shelter from the wind.
The Bottle Tree is very versatile and easy to grow. It fits perfectly into any landscape design, making it a fantastic addition to just about any location or environment.
Glauca Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea glauca)
The Xanthorrhoea Glauca Grass Tree is the ultimate in Grass Trees. It is the only Grass Tree that has the much sought after thick, blue-grey foliage that makes it such a standout specimen.
This unusual and iconic tree has a special place in the heart of many Australians and it could be argued that there is no finer native specimen that you could add to your landscape.
Planting a small forest of Glauca Grass Trees can make a walk in your garden feel as though you’re literally stepping back into prehistoric times!
Xanthorrhoea glauca is the most hardy of all the Grass Trees, it has an exceptionally high survival rate. It is extremely long living tree that, although slow growing, can reach over 6 metres tall.
Tree Aloe (Aloidendron barberae)
The Tree Aloe is one of the most striking succulent plants that you can add to your landscape. It is a truly architectural plant that makes an impressive feature tree in any dry, Mediterranean or tropical garden scheme.
It is the largest of all Aloes, growing up to 20 meters in height and it has magnificent stems that can reach as much as 3 meters in diameter.
The branching crown of the Tree Aloe is considered neat and tidy and is made up of rosettes of long, arching, evergreen leaves.
The Tree Aloe will be happy in any well drained soil, as long as it is in a sunny position.
They require very little when it comes to maintenance and are generally pest and disease free but, they are not hardy so will require frost protection in cooler areas.
Best Garden Feature Trees in Australia Summary
There you have it! The 4 best garden feature trees in Australia. You'll need quality loopers to maintain them so we listed the best loopers for you.
Feature trees fit really well with our garden designs so make sure to check it out. Which one is your favourite tree? Make sure to leave your suggestions in the Comments section below!
Tony Giggliotti has been growing all types of architectural trees and designing truly amazing landscapes for years. You can follow him at DesignerTrees.com.au