If you could plant 3 trees in your Orewa garden - what would you choose? (Orewa is on The Hibiscus Coast NZ)

I have a small garden and plan to plant 3 trees. My hope is to:

  • support the biodiversity of Orewa
  • encourage birds to my garden
  • inspire other city dwellers to plant for wildlife

Any suggestions would be welcome.


These are mine

Can you edit your title to Orewa garden?
(Where is Orewa?)

1 Like

Thank you Diana - I have made those changes as per your suggestions. Orewa is in New Zealand.

I just had a look at your collection - it seems you have had a similar project.

A lot of people where I live plant for privacy only - which seems a wasted opportunity.


Then we have some plants in common. I have Coprosma to remind me of my father who came from New Zealand.

Sense of place? Do you have a native hibiscus, for which that coast was named? South Africa has some Hibiscus tiliaceus and lots of commonorgarden sinensis.

On our Cape mountains tiny groundcover - that? is a Hibiscus.

And we have a Hibiscus Coast near sub-tropical Durban / eThekwini

1 Like

Interestingly - the hibiscus in my street is from China - which I must say was a disappointing discovery. I don’t know if there is native hibiscus - but I think the local plant shop will know. We are in lockdown so no plant shops open at present!


I live in South Carolina so our trees are quite different here. However, I have been surprised and delighted that the wildlife is as fond of conifers as I am. The Dawn Redwood planted by our stream often shelters dragonflies and other winged critters in need of a place to rest or a safe place to drink without drowning in dew.
I’d also suggest some tree in the Rose family with blooms for pollinators and small fruits for birds. Food for spring and fall. Then I’d pick something that blooms late summer and keeps its seeds until winter.
Be careful to choose trees that don’t use chemicals to discourage other plants from growing nearby. Can’t remember the term. Allelopathy.

1 Like

I would consult a native plant guidebook and see which one occur, or would have historically occurred, in your area.

After that, I would consider what kind of plants would best suit my garden and for which purpose.

Do I want a tall tree so that my garden has structure and shade? Do I want a large, wide-spreading tall shrub that approximates a tree, for screening? Or something that has sparse foliage to let the light through, and deciduous in winter? Do I want something that grows rapidly and dies within 30 years, or something that grows slowly but will live for centuries? Do I know that this tree will not damage the foundation of the house or underground pipes through an aggressive root system? Do I know that this tree is non-toxic for pets/small children (if they have a presence in your garden)?

And of course, all these plants must in one way or another have a known association with a native animal: this plant provides nectar and berries, that plant is good for nesting birds to hide their nest in, this plant attracts beneficial insects I want to see in my garden (e.g. a food plant for the caterpillars of a particular butterfly I like and which occurs in nearby areas).

A lot of factors to consider.


Is there research on which tree species support the most native insect species in New Zealand?

For example the diet of most insect-eating birds is mostly moth caterpillars, so there’s been research to find out which trees in North America host the most species of moths. The idea is both that they’ll attract more birds and also that they’ll likely also support more insects in other orders so they make the biggest contribution to the local ecosystem in general.

For specifically attracting birds, native shrubs and trees that produce berries can be pretty effective.


I’m from Chile, but seems we share some genera, I could suggest to plant an Fuchsia excorticata (Tree fuchsia)! these are tiny coups of sugar for animals insects and birds! they love it.
any kōwhai may be useful!


Hibiscus tiliaceus is widespread on tropical coastlines, as a plant that spreads on ocean currents. You may have it in New Zealand, although New Zealand is not really considered tropical.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.