Frontline coastal

New Zealand Christmas Trees in Isabel Avenue ValcluseThese areas are directly exposed to strong salt-laden winds. The original vegetation would have consisted of low, wind pruned heath plants. The soils are sandy and skeletal with little or no organic matter and are often only a thin layer over a bedrock of sandstone. 

The areas range from the strip of cliff tops from Dover Heights and Vaucluse, down to the North Bondi headlands including Bondi Beach and headlands south to Clovelly. It also includes some streets directly exposed to southerly winds.

Choosing suitable trees for this zone is difficult and the species listed below are recognised as performing moderately well given the extreme conditions.

Streetscape Character

In Dover Heights and Vaucluse the coastal streets are generally wide with expansive grassy naturestrips. This is usually ideal for optimum growth of street trees; however, these wide streets are mostly exposed with little protection from direct salt laden winds. Harsh conditions and occasional poor tree selection have resulted in bare appearances in some streets.

The footpaths in the commercial zones around Bondi are mostly concreted and require specific species selection and robust protection in the form of solid tree guards.

Dominant Trees

Common name Botanical name
Coastal Banksia Banksia integrifolia
Bracelet Honey Myrtle Melaleuca armillaris
Bottlebrush Callistemon 'Kings Park Special'
New Zealand Christmas Bush Metrosideros excelsa
Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophylla

Issues and Considerations

  • Number of declining street trees (mostly New Zealand Christmas Bush -Metrosideros excelsa)
  • Exposure to coastal winds and poor soil quality limits species selection
  • Low number of streets with overhead wires but views to the ocean to be considered with species selection


  • To improve tree planting and protection conditions to enable a greater percentage of tree survival.
  • Create a distinctive local character through the use of coastal tolerant trees


  • Choose trees from the accompanying table of coastal tolerant trees.
  • Increase width of planting hole to a minimum of one metre and incorporate quality native soil mix and water crystals
  • If planting in areas of concrete footpath, the planting hole must be a minimum size of 1metre x 1 metre. Root barriers to be installed to minimise any potential footpath damage
  • Only plant trees that have been ‘hardened off’ to coastal conditions
  • Use tree guards with hessian surrounds to provide extra protection
  • In wider nature strips trial planting coastal tolerant shrubs as a barrier around the tree

Preferred Tree Species

SizeCommon nameBotanical name
(to 6 metres)
Coastal WattleAcacia sophorae
Beach Birds Eye *
Alectryon coriaceus *
Silver Banksia
Banksia marginata
Coastal Tea Tree
Leptospermum laevigatum *
(6 to 12 metres)
 Coastal BanksiaBanksia integrifolia
 Horsetail Casuarina Casuarina equisetifolia
 Bracelet Honey Myrtle Melaleuca armillaris
 Moonah * Melaleuca lanceolata *
 New Zealand Christmas Bush Metrosideros spp
 (over 12 metres)
 Cook Island Pine or New Caledonia Pine
 Araucaria columnaris *
 Norfolk Island Pine * Araucaria heterophylla *
 Cotton Palm Washingtonia robusta
 Cabbage Tree Palm * Livistona australis *

*= may only be available from specialist native nurseries

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