Urban Trees Garden at the Auckland Botanic Gardens

Urban Trees

Find the perfect tree for your garden

Trees for urban gardens

If you are looking for that perfect tree for that particular space in your garden, come and visit the Urban Tree Collection. Even if you have a small garden you can find ideas here for a beautiful tree that will grow to a manageable size with root systems that are not too vigorous or invasive. The collection includes natives and exotics all with a certain special something whether bark, flowers, fruit or foliage e.g. kowhai, coastal maire, michelia, persimmon, cherries and weeping maples.

A special tree can form the bones around which you can build a garden. The Urban Tree Collection also demonstrates a diverse range of groundcover including clivias, bromeliads, farfugiums, grevilleas and arthropodiums. These plants are low maintenance, suited to the Auckland environment, and can be planted both under the trees and out in the open. Visit through-out the seasons to observe how the trees and understory plantings change over the year and use what you see to plan your garden. 

For more information about choosing, planting and maintaining a healthy tree please contact us or come by for one of our Drop n Learn sessions - we list all upcoming events on our events calendar.

Find out more about our recommended ground covers in Jack Hobbs' Garden Advice video:


Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

Trees are building blocks of life on earth. Through photosynthesis, the process of converting light to energy, they convert carbon waste in the atmosphere into necessary oxygen. They provide habitat for animals and insects. They improve and hold together soils. They grow fruit and nuts not only delicious to us but to wildlife. They provide shade and shelter on hot summer days. Over the millennia, their wood has provided humans with homes, boats, furniture and warmth. Some trees live and grow thousands of years – imagine who and what they have shaded throughout history.

The initial planting of Urban Trees began on Arbour Day 1981, hence many of the original trees are now mature specimens. The garden received an upgrade in 2002, with additional trees, larger garden beds, and a seated shelter being added.

Gardening Tips for Trees
  • Small trees look and grow better and are easier to maintain when grouped in garden beds rather than planted singly in a lawn.
  • Planting success is often improved on clay soils by adding extra topsoil and forming raised beds.
  • Planting after autumn rains when the soil is moist and warm allows trees and shrubs to become established before winter. This enables them to withstand dry periods during the following summer.
  • Tall plants and those in windy positions require staking to stabilize the root ball until established. Position the stakes in the hole before planting and place the plant between them to avoid damaging roots.
  • Mulching helps conserve moisture and suppress weeds; organic materials such as sawdust and bark contribute to soils structure as they decompose. Keep mulching material away from plant stems.

Horticulturalists at Auckland Botanic Gardens are constantly evaluating trees to inform recommendations.  

For more information, have a look at our Plants for Auckland brochures or contact us.


Tarmac paths are fully accessible.