How to Care for an Australian Willow Tree
Australian willow trees, known botanically by the name Geijera parviflora, are evergreen trees with olive-colored leaves and showy, cream-colored flowers that bloom twice a year. Their average size -- typically 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide -- makes them comfortable for many backyard gardens. While young trees have a perky oval shape, the small outer branches of aging trees droop slightly, giving them a weepy look. Though native to Australia, the University of Florida IFAS Extension website states that they are hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 11. They adapt to a variety of environments and are extremely low-maintenance.
Grow your Australian willow in full sun and well-drained soil when possible. If your climate is dry, the tree should have no problem surviving. Most can also adapt to partial shade.
Let your Australian willow drink water from natural rain showers. Most do not require supplemental watering, as they are native to Australia's arid interior; the Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute website even states that they are drought tolerant. If you worry about the tree during extreme droughts, water thoroughly, but infrequently. Otherwise, only water if you want to encourage growth, as Australian willows grow more rapidly when given extra water.
Prune if the tree becomes overgrown. Though the Australian willow's natural 20-foot span is comfortable for some environments, they may grow too large if placed on a street where they could scrape the tops of vehicles. Other than shaping, they require no pruning, according to Los Angeles's Department of Public Works website.
Prune An Australian Willow
Prune the lower branches on the main trunk to prevent branches from rubbing against each other. Look for a collar of bark at the base of the branch that sticks out, and cut above this collar, leaving the stump on the main tree trunk. This will reveal the main trunk, giving the tree an attractive appearance, while preventing pedestrians from being whipped by thin branches blowing in the wind. Train the shape of the tree by removing downward-growing branches and leaving only those that grow in an upward direction.
Don't let the Australian willow sit in soggy soil. Even if you provide extra water for faster growth, it is used to arid environments and will not thrive in waterlogged conditions.
- Don't let the Australian willow sit in soggy soil. Even if you provide extra water for faster growth, it is used to arid environments and will not thrive in waterlogged conditions.
- Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute: Australian Willow
- "The Trees of San Francisco"; Michael Sullivan; 2004
- Glendale Community College: Geijera Parviflora-Australian Willow
- United States Department of Agriculture: Pruning Tools
- United States Department of Agriculture: Pruning Cuts
- University of Florida Landscape Plants: Geijera Parviflora, Australian Willow