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Ten Common Trees in Australia - Activity

24 March 2017

Below is a list of ten trees common in Australia.  We have listed a little information about each tree, but left lots for students to discover.  We have also listed some activities after the descriptions that you incorporate into your science, geography, art or english lessons.  We hope you enjoy this and if you want more, go to the Find A Resource Section of and discover more.

 Ten Common Trees in Australia 

Moreton Bay Fig Small

Above:  Moreton Bay Fig

1.  Moreton Bay Fig – Ficus macrophylla - spectacular trees and amazing root systems

Plant Size:                   20 metres high and 40 metres root spread

Use:                             Shade Tree

Grows best:                 Sydney region and north to Queensland – likes sun and is an evergreen

Blue QuandongAbove:  Blue Quandong


2.  Blue Quandong – Elaeocarpus angustifolius - has lovely white flowers

Plant Size:                   25 Metres high and 15 metres root spread

Use:                             Shade tree and timber products

Grows best:                 Sub-tropical and Tropical Australia

3.  Norfolk Pine – Araucaria heterophylla - evergreen conifer

Plant Size:                   45 metres high and 15 metres root spread

Use:                             Indoor plant, shade tree and for the timber

Grows best:                 All over Australia

4.  Yellow Box – Eucalyptus melliodora – cream or pink flowering evergreen

Plant size:                   30 metres high and 25 metre root system

Use:                             Shade and street trees and for the timber

Grows best:                 East coast of Australia

5.  Golden Wattle – Acacia pycnantha – common yellow wattle tree

Plant size:                   8 metres high and 6 metre root system

Use:                             Shade tree and soil binding

Grows best:                 NSW, SA and Victoria

6.  Mountain Ask – Eucalyptus regnans – known as one of the tallest trees in the world

Plant size:                   20 metres to 85 metres

Use:                             Shade trees and hardwood timber products

Grows best:                 Tasmania and Victoria


Above:  Jarrah forest in WA

7.  Jarrah – Eucalyptus marginata

Plant size:                   40 metres high with a trunk diameter of 3 metres

Use:                             Shade tree and timber floors, cabinetry, furniture and bridges

Grows best:                 South west Western Australia

8.  Paperbark, tea tree and honey-myrtles – Melaleuca – has over 300 different varieties

Plant size:                   Ranging from small at 1 metre to around 35 metres

Use:                             Healing properties, boats, gardens and for bees and other wildlife

Grows best:                 Different varieties grow in different parts of Australia


Above:  Macadamia Tree

9.  Macadamia - macadamia tetraphylla - trees take 7 years to establish then produce nuts for 100 years.

Plant size:                   From 2 to 12 metres

Use:                             For delicious nuts

Grows best:                 Sub-tropical and tropical regions in NSW and Queensland

10.  Scribbly Gum – Eucalyptus haumastoma – the scribbles are made by the scribbly moth and do not harm the tree

Plant size:                   Up to 10 metres in height

Use:                             Shade tree, firewood and soil binding

Grows best:                 East coast and is frost resistant

Gum Eureka

 Above:  Gum Tree

Ideas for incorporating trees into your classrooms.

  • You could use this list of trees to develop a lesson around geography and get them to locate the trees on the map of Australia. 
  • You could then have the children look at their location specifically and see if any of the trees are native to their area. 
  • Then have the children research other native trees relevant to their area.
  • Investigating all the varities of Melaleuca or Eucalypt trees could also be a great exercise for the children.

A further extension could be:

  • Have the children research further into the list of trees for such things as relevance to indigenous communities; whether any trees are emblems for a particular state; further uses and so on. 
  • What do their leaves look like?
  • How is the tree used?
  • What is unique about this tree?
  • Are there other varieties of this tree?

Incorporate technology by having the students present their research via PowerPoint or prezi.

Take your students outside the classroom

Take a walk in the school grounds, local park, local streets or organise an excursion to a forest, botanical garden or arboretum.  Have the students put their knowledge into practice by identifying local trees, introduced species or trees from the above list.

Using leaves in science, art and language

Have the students collect leaves during their trip (easy if it is autumn) and incorporate lessons involving art, story writing or the science of leaves.  A great resource incorporating leaves is this Pinterest site


ForestLearning Team

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