Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Plant Selection

Have you ever wondered about the best plants to use in a particular location and/or for a specific purpose?

Tuesday, when Taranaki was experiencing strong winds much like today's, I decided to troll the internet in search of advice on plants, preferably New Zealand natives, suitable for a wind break or shelter belt. There is a plethora of advice of varying quality and relevance available, but the most comprehensive information came from the knowledgeable and helpful Phil Bendle. He provided this information in his response to a query directed to him via our TERRAIN website. It is copied here for the benefit of all:

'Thanks for your email re shelter belt trees.

I would recommend double fencing your shelter belt area as grazing animals will nibble on most trees.
The area between the two fences can be used to store the hives and can be planted with perennial wild flowers such as perennial lupins, Lilium lancifolium 'Tiger lily', Geranium sanguineum 'Cranesbill', Rudbeckia 'Black Eyed Susan' and Echinaceas 'Coneflowers.

There are several natives trees that you could plant as a mixed shelter. They all flower, specially Hoheria species.

Pittosporum ralphii 'Karo' it grows to about 4 m

Pittosporum tenufolium  'Kohuhu'  it will grow to about 9 m

Pittosporum eugenioides 'Lemonwood'  grows to about 12 m

Kunzea ericoides 'Kanuka'  grows up to 10 m

Hoheria sextylosa 'Long-leaved Lacebark' up to 6 m.

Hoheria populnea 'Lacebark'

The Griselinia family of NZ trees are another option.

Griselinia littoralis 'Kapuka' and is the parent of many suitable cultivars.

Other plants often used as shelter are the Cortaderia the NZ 'Toetoe' species and theNZ Phormium species (flaxes)

The other option is planting some exotics as well.  A popular one is Cryptomeria japonica 'Egmont' which will grow up to 1 m per year.

I hope this bit of info is of help.

Phil Bendle'