Shade Loving Trees in Australia

Australia is a country filled with breathtaking scenery and lush landscapes. There are hundreds of varieties of trees in Australia, and while many prefer full sun locations, there are numerous species that grow very well in the shade. These shade-dwelling trees tend to be hardy in nature and have the ability to tolerate many different types of soil and sun conditions.


The yew (Taxus) is a hardy tree that is tolerant of many growing conditions. This tree does best in moist, fertile soil and grows very well whether planted in the shade or the sun. Young trees have a conical appearance, but once the tree matures, it displays a rounded crown. Cones are produced in the spring and, by the end of the summer, turn into bright red fruits, according to the website Gardening Australia. Yews are considered to be some of the oldest trees in existence, with many dating back thousands of years. Yew trees grow very slowly and often stop growing altogether until they are re-energized by an environmental change. Yew is also known for its medicinal purposes. The bark of the yew tree is used to produce a drug called Taxol, which is used to treat ovarian cancer, while the tree's berries are used to make a laxative. The foliage and berries of the yew tree are toxic to both humans and animals when ingested.

Southern Beech

Southern beech (Nothofagus), an ancient tree thought to have evolved over 100 million years ago, is indigenous to areas south of the equator, including Australia, New Zealand and South America. These large trees are quite hardy and can tolerate almost any growing conditions, with the exception of severe frost or salty coastal winds. Beech can be planted in the shade or sun, and it grows well in most soil conditions, according to the Gardening Australia website. Moist, well-drained soil is optimal, and waterlogged ground should be avoided. Southern beech trees tend to grow on the east coast of Australia, as well as the highlands, where the soil is less dry. This tree is particularly prevalent in Tasmania, where it is considered a valuable part of the natural habitat, according to the Talking Nature website. The tree's nuts are an important source of food for wildlife, while the foliage provides shelter for birds and small animals. Southern beech trees grow at a slow rate, and they often live for over 400 years. Southern beech is prized for its wood, and its timber is often used to make cabinets.


Fir (Abies) trees tend to grow in areas such as closed forests, where the soil is very moist and deep. This tree is generally hardy and can grow in both shade and sun, but it does best in cooler areas and does not favor hot summer weather, according to the Gardening Australia website. Reaching heights of more than 200 feet and diameters of more than 12 feet, fir trees also produce pretty cones, which may range in color from purplish-pink to purplish-blue, according to the Helium website. This evergreen tree has whirled branches, typically growing one new branch per year. Because of this growth rate, it is often possible to determine the tree's age by counting the number of whirled branches on the tree. Firs can be easily identified by their distinct leaves, which are needle-like. Fir trees have a cone-like crown, which becomes flatter as the tree ages. Due to their pleasant smell and longevity once cut, firs are often of economic significance in their use as ornamental Christmas trees. While the quality of the fir tree's wood is poor and not particularly suited for lumber, the pulp is often used to make plywood.

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