10 Fast Growing Australian Native Trees (with Pictures)

One of the best things about growing native trees is that they are generally low maintenance and easy to care for.

What’s more, there are plenty of fast-growing options that are great for privacy or quickly establishing a new garden.

Here are some of our favourites:

Acacia baileyana (Cootamundra Wattle)

Acacia baileyana Cootamundra Wattle | Plant varieties
Acacia baileyana / Photo by John Jennings / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

This fast-growing wattle has lovely grey foliage and bright yellow flowers in winter.

You always know that spring is just around the corner when you see this wattle in full bloom as it becomes completely covered with flowers.

The Cootamundra wattle can reach a height of around 6 to 8 metres. It can handle most soil types and will be happy in either full sun or light shade. It will even tolerate light frosts.

Best of all, this native flowering tree is particularly attractive to bees and seed-eating birds.

Hymenosporum flavum (Native frangipani)

Hymenosporum flavum Native frangipani | Plant varieties
Hymenosporum flavum / Photo by Tatiana Gerus / Flickr (cropped) / CC BY 2.0

There’s no doubt that the heady fragrance of frangipani is a welcome addition to any garden and our native frangipani is no exception.

It has large green leaves and stunning white and yellow flowers in spring and summer.

The Australian frangipani is a small tree growing to a maximum height of around 7 metres. It will grow happily in full sun or light shade.

Being a fast-growing tree, it will establish itself quickly in your garden if you plant it in well-drained soil and mulch heavily after planting. 

In southern gardens, this rainforest tree needs to be protected from frost until it reaches a height of around 2 metres.

It requires very little maintenance and heavy pruning should be avoided as this will damage its pyramidal shape.

Syzygium / Acmena smithii (Lilly Pilly)

Syzygium Australe Lilly Pilly | Plant varieties
Syzygium Australe Lilly Pilly

Lilly Pillys are popular Australian natives that grow in a variety of conditions and soil types. They’re commonly grown as hedges and make perfect screening plants.

There are around 60 different Lilly Pilly varieties that are native to Australia and Southeast Asia. In addition, there are also quite a few different cultivars and hybrids that have become popular across the country.

These fast growing natives are more suitable for areas with a more temperate climate. However, if you protect them from frosts while young, they can be grown successfully in southern areas as well.

Not only do Lilly pillies have attractive foliage with lovely new red growth but they also produce edible fruits that are quite popular for making into jams. Of course, the birds love these fruits too.

Lilly pillies can grow into large trees reaching a height of around 6 metres. However, they are quite happy to be trimmed and pruned to a more suitable height.

Brachychiton acerifolius (Illawarra Flame Tree)

Brachychiton acerifolius | Plant varieties
Brachychiton acerifolius / Photo by John Robert McPherson / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

This impressive large tree is a sight to behold when in full bloom. The clusters of red bell-shaped flowers will cover the tree in spring and summer.

Brachychiton acerifolius can grow to a height of around 20 metres but is usually much smaller when grown in a garden.

Did you know?

Many native Australian plants are adapted to low-nutrient soils, especially low in phosphorus.

Over-fertilising, particularly with high phosphorus fertilisers, can harm these plants. It’s best to use a slow-release, low-phosphorus fertiliser, specifically formulated for native plants.

We recommend this native fertiliser from Amgrow, designed to promote healthy root growth, lush foliage, and increased flowering, without overwhelming native species.

Banksia ericifolia (Heath Banksia)

Banksia ericifolia Heath Banksia | Plant varieties
Banksia ericifolia

If you decide to plant a Heath banksia in your garden, you’ll be delighted with the large orange flower heads. This banksia has a dense growth habit and can grow to a height of around 7 metres.

This tree is also fast-growing and attracts a variety of native bird species.

The Heath Banksia will grow happily in most soils and prefers a sunny position but will tolerate some light shade. It will also handle light frosts without a problem.

You’ll find that both bees and butterflies will swarm to this tree when the gorgeous flowers bloom.

Acacia implexa (Hickory Wattle)

Acacia implexa Hickory Wattle | Plant varieties
Acacia implexa / Photo by Donald Hobern / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Hickory wattle will grow almost anywhere around the country, even in the outback as long as it receives some supplementary water in summer.

It has stunning dark green foliage and pretty cream, pom-pom flowers in summer.

This wattle is also drought and frost-tolerant once it becomes established. It’s a good idea to mulch around the base of the tree to protect the roots as suckering is common if the roots become damaged.

This fast growing tree will reach a height of 8 to 10 metres.

Grevillea ‘Honey Gem’

Grevillea ‘Honey Gem | Plant varieties
Grevillea ‘Honey Gem’

Nothing beats the intrigue of the spidery flowers of grevillea and this popular variety is no exception.

Grevilleas require very little maintenance and can be left to grow happily in the garden on their own. However, you can give the plant a light prune if you want a denser growth habit.

For screening, choose one of the larger Grevillea varieties such as ‘Honey Gem’ or ‘Moonlight’ which can both grow up to 5 metres tall.

Elaeocarpus reticulatus (Blueberry Ash)

Elaeocarpus reticulatus Blueberry Ash | Plant varieties
Elaeocarpus reticulatus / Photo by Tatiana Gerus / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Blueberry Ash is a fast-growing Australian native that usually grows to around 5 meters tall. It produces lovely pink flowers which are followed by small blue berries.

This small evergreen tree is also low maintenance, so it’s a great option for people who don’t have much time to spend on their garden.

Leptospermum petersonii (Lemon-scented tea tree)

Leptospermum Petersonii Lemon scented tea tree | Plant varieties
Leptospermum petersonii / Photo by Raffi Kojian / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

The lemon-scented tea tree is a hardy and fast-growing evergreen that grows to about five metres in height.

This small native tree features bright green foliage and small white flowers that bloom in spring and summer.

The leaves are lemon-scented, giving the tree its name.

Hakea laurina (Pincushion Hakea)

Hakea laurina | Plant varieties
Pincushion Hakea / Photo by Jean and Fred / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

This is only a small tree that can reach a height of around 6 metres.

The red, white, cream, and pink pincushion flowers appear from late autumn and throughout winter. 

The Pincushion Hakea has a non-invasive root system so is suitable for planting close to a house.

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.


3 thoughts on “10 Fast Growing Australian Native Trees (with Pictures)”

  1. Hello,
    This was the first time I have visited this website and found it very interesting and would love to continue with this.

    Thank you and regards


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