NATIVE PLANTS FOR SHELTER                   Plant Catalogue

 

 

 

Shelter Styles

There is always a need to provide shelter from the weather, to screen unwanted views, or to define a boundary. There are many New Zealand Native Plants that can be utilised.

 

One Species Shelter

This is the traditional style where only one plant species is used. This style gives a very neat appearance with uniform colour and size and is a style that is probably best where there is little space and a narrow trimmed edge is needed.

 

Dual Species Shelter

Two species are used – one usually being fast growing and planted to give protection to the slower growing plants which will eventually be the main shelter. This style requires more space but gives greater protection and has more aesthetic appeal.

 

Mixed Shelter

Here a number of species are used together in a row several plants deep. Such a shelter belt not only gives shelter from the wind but also provides a habitat for wild life and gives a very varied and interesting effect. This style is ideal where space is not a problem and a multi-purpose shelter is required. Generally this type of shelter would not be trimmed and could include species not generally considered for this purpose. Some species would be chosen for their sheltering capacity but others may be selected for other reasons, eg. to encourage birds, firewood and/or timber. The mixed shelter concept is used extensively in Europe in hedgerows and provides a natural looking multi-purpose shelter.

 

Planting Suggestions

Generally plants selected for shelter purposes must meet the following criteria:

  • Moderately fast growing
  • Tolerant to wind
  • Responsive to trimming
  • Relatively disease resistant

The speed of growth and the eventual height of any species will depend on the kind of growing conditions. Where sites are exposed with poor dry soils, growth will obviously be far slower than on more sheltered fertile sites. Many species can be maintained as hedges of a much lower height than they would naturally attain by annual trimming.

There are numerous species not mentioned here which can be incorporated into the mixed shelter belt concepts quite happily. Planting some of the main shelter species provides a protected environment for many other plants.

Species

Common Name

Height

Growth Rate

Wind Tolerance

Special Features/Uses

Brachyglottis greyii

 

1m

Fast

Ex

Good low hedge.Coast.Clips

Cassinia sp.

Cottonwood

1m

Fast

Ex

Ex rigorous coastal conditions

Coprosma propinqua

 

2m

Fast

Ex

Very twiggy dense effect

Coprosma repens

Taupata

2m+

Fast

Ex

Ex coastal shelter. Frost tender

Corokia species

Corokia

1-2m

Fast

Ex

Ex coastal shelter

Dodonea viscosa

Akeake

4m

Fast

Good

Coastal. Fairly open form

Griselinia littoralis

Broadleaf

4m

Mod F

Ex

Coastal and inland. Quite dense

Griselinia lucida

Akapuka

3m

Mod F

Good

Good for coastal shelter

Hoheria species

Lacebark

4m

Fast

Fair

Good for screening & with other trees

Knightia excelsa

Rewarewa

10m+

Mod F

Good

Good main shelter tree. Tall narrow form

Kunzea ericoides

Kanuka

6m

Fast

Good

V. versatile. Gd. firewood tree. Trims well

Leptospermum scoparium

Manuka

4m

Fast

Ex

Very hardy. Gd nurse plant & firewood

Lophomyrtus species

Ramarama

3m

Mod F

Fair

Good ornamental hedge. Clips well

Metrosideros excelsa

Pohutukawa

10m+

Mod F

Ex

Main coastal shelter. Flowers a feature. Trims

Metrosideros kermadencensis

Pohutukawa

10m+

Mod F

Ex

Frost tender. Coastal

Muehlenbeckia
astonii

 

1m

Mod F

Ex

Deciduous & wiry. Exposed coastal sites

Myoporum laetum

Ngaio

6m

Fast

Ex

Exposed coastal sites. Will trim

Myrsine australis

Matipou

3m

Mod F

Fair

Dense & bushy. Colourful foliage

Nothofagus fusca

Beech

10m+

Mod F

Good

Main shelter. Clips well. Timber tree

Olearia albida

Tree Daisy

3m

Fast

Good

Thick bushy shelter. Clips well

Olearia angulata

 

3m

Fast

Ex

Coastal dry sites. Bushy. Trims well

Olearia paniculata

 

3m

Fast

Ex

Coastal dry. Perfumed flowers. Trims well

Olearia traversii

 

4m

Fast

Ex

Tall & thin form. Coastal and dry

Olearia virgata

 

4m

Fast

Ex

Fine feathery leaves and full form

Phormium species

Flax

1-2m

Fast

Ex

Good low shelter. Coastal wet or dry.

Pittosporum crassifolium

Karo

6m

Mod F

Ex

Coastal exposed. Trims well

Pittosporum eugenioides

Lemonwood

6m

Fast

Good

Bushy to base. Trims well

Pittosporum tenuifolium

Kohuhu

6m

Fast

Good

Attractive foliage. Trims well.

Plagianthus regius

Ribbonwood

8m

Fast

Good

Good mixed with other species. Damp sites

Plagianthus divaricatus

Shore ribbonwood

1.5m

Fast

Ex

Severe coastal sites and salt marshes

Podocarpus totara

Totara

10m+

Slow

Good

Main shelter or Timber. Clips well

Pomaderis apetala

Tainui

4m

Mod F

Ex

Coastal.

Pseudopanax arboreus

Five Finger

3m

Mod F

Good

Very bushy form

Pseudopanax laetus

Mt. Five finger

3m

Mod F

Good

Bushy form. Best untrimmed

Pseudopanax lessonii

Houpara

5m

Mod F

Ex

Coastal

Vitex lucens

Puriri

10m+

Mod F

Good

Coastal. Timber. Birds. Mix with other species

Planting Tips

  • Fence the area if stock are likely to damage the trees
  • Clear the area to be planted of weeds and grass. Spot spraying with a herbicide is quickest for larger areas.
  • Prepare holes for planting - distance apart will depend on species used and on the speed a filled-in effect is required. As a guide, large species such as Totara would be 2 metres or more apart, Pittosporums 1 metre and Corokia 50cm.
  • We recommend using a slow release fertiliser when planting. Naturally Native stock "Gro Tabs" which are most suitable for this purpose.
  • In very exposed areas a fence high line of shelter cloth on the exposed side of the shelter will enable plants to establish more quickly. Planting of fast growing exotics such as willow or pines can also help in exposed sites. These can be cut out later for firewood.

After Planting Care

  • Keep plants clear of competitive weeds in the first year or two.
  • If the shelter is to be trimmed it is better to trim each year so a desirable shape is developed.
  • An annual side dressing of general fertiliser is beneficial in some cases.

 

 

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