Planting Trees for Winter Interest

With planning you are able to have interesting gardens all year round. And winter should be no exception to the rule.

Print Download Email Share Tweet

With planning you are able to have interesting gardens all year round. And winter should be no exception to the rule.

Standing out like bright beacons on cold and wet days are the cup-like flowers found on the white limbs of deciduous magnolias. In leaf in summer and bare-limbed in winter, these elegant trees are undoubtedly in all their glory during the cooler months when big, fragrant flowers sit high on the ends of naked branches. While slow growing and long to flower once established, patience is eventually rewarded with stunning flower displays in the cooler months.

Deciduous magnolias require little effort in the garden and complement evergreen trees and plants really well. Their creamy limbs and bold flowers make these trees an eye-catching feature.

For more Magnolia inspiration: Magnolia - Genus – Trees - Speciality Trees

Many other trees look fantastic this time of year and it all has to do with the cooler weather bringing out that charming reddish tinge in new leaf growth on evergreen trees. I admit that this is more noticeable in the period just before the onset of spring, but variances in climate has Mother Nature doing her best to bring this remarkable transition forward. It is a unique stage of the year and well worth capturing in the garden. 

Angophora costata is another large evergreen tree known for its transient colour, broad crown and twisted limbs. Its bark is shed in large flakes in spring but just before that occurs young foliage appear across the tree giving it a deep burgundy red tinge, gradually fading to green. Coming out of the cooler months foliage is reddish, curved and waxy, providing excellent contrast to the bark. This tree provides transient colour interest as well as shade – a beautifully rare combination going into spring and summer.

The special selection of Waterhousea floribunda ‘Whisper’ is a lush, robust and fast-growing evergreen native with beautiful pendulous habit. Linear cascading leaves are green with a reddish-orange tinge on young growth. Growing possibly to 12 metres, depending on climate and soil conditions, it is an outstanding performer in the south eastern parts of Australia and holds good colour throughout the colder months when new growth begins to form.

Its slightly larger leaf makes for a denser form of Waterhousea than others on the market. It is full and fat and dressed to the ground so it can be used very successfully as a soft, graceful yet dense screen. Perfect for blocking out tall neighbouring structures. This is a beautiful, highly versatile selection that looks fabulous in the back end of winter when foliage is multi-coloured. If you are looking for finer foliage, Allocasuarina  might be the solution or an all-year red foliage colour selection like Leptospermum 'Starry Night’.

Unique to Speciality Trees and one of our most popular sellers! This is a versatile, bushy tree with a wonderful weeping habit making it perfect for large screening projects and the softening of fence lines. Propagated from Victorian mother-stock, unlike other Waterhousea, so responds better to all weather conditions, including cooler climates. New growth starts off pink with leaves turning to various shades of green as the foliage matures. Foliage is maintained to the base of the plant giving a year-round lush, full appearance. It forms a small quantity of creamy-white flowers in summer. Berry production on 'Whisper' is unlike other Lilly Pillies, with minimal quantities of small green berries that, whilst bird attracting, these fruits are tucked in amongst the foliage and are not obvious. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L 100L 150L
This is a larger growing hybrid with dark green leaves, dense habit and a beautifully sweet scent from white cupped flowers that adorn the tree in spring. Adds height to the garden growing to 4m tall. 50cm/52L
This hybrid deciduous magnolia features deep purple, goblet shaped flowers which provide a knock-out display in late winter and spring before any leaves appear, creating a great contrast against its dark branches. Foliage appears after flowering and is a matte green colour. This is a woody, deciduous, upright growing tree which flowers from quite a young age. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
A versatile, fast growing shrub with fine, deep purple foliage forming a graceful, weeping habit with its purple-pink new growth. In late spring and summer, bronze buds open to a profusion of long-lasting snowy white flowers. A great Australian native adaptable to a variety of soil types and conditions and can be used as a screen, hedge or specimen plant. 30cm/14L 40cm/27L
An Australian native, this is an improved variety of the regular Tristaniopsis laurina. Leaves are dark green, shiny and large - and as the name suggests, luscious in appearance! New growth starts out a distinctive copper colour and further interest appears over time with the branches developing deep purple coloured bark which peels back to reveal a smooth, cream trunk. Flowers are yellow and sweetly perfumed, appearing in clusters through summer. 50cm/52L 100L
An erect conical shaped tree which has dark fissured bark which looks black at certain times of the year. This fast growing tree bears showy red male flowers in spring. The female has small spiky cones 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
This variety of Lilly Pilly can be used for both small and tall borders. It has been selected for its new growth which is plum-coloured, hence its name, which turns deep green when mature. 'Plum Magic' also has a higher resistance to psyllid than other Syzygium. 30cm/14L 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
This hybrid deciduous magnolia has a compact growth habit, making it a good choice as a specimen tree for smaller gardens. It has large furry light brown buds, which develop a tulip like appearance before opening out to the gorgeous, large, fragrant flowers of deep magenta in late winter. Large vibrant green leaves follow the flowers - a beautiful feature tree. 40cm/27L 50cm/52L
This attractive Australian native Angophora (syn. Eucalyptus) is loved for its smooth bark that is slightly purple in colour. It has large and twisted limbs and a very large expanded trunk base. It bears white flower clusters in spring. This tree has opposite leaves compared to alternate leaves as seen in eucalypt tree varieties. It has beautiful red new growth. 40cm/27L 100L

Find a Tree

With more than 400 trees in our library we can help you find the perfect tree for your next project.


Ask a question

We're here to help if you need any advice on selecting the perfect tree for your next project.

Send Message


Receive all the latest news, product information, collections, projects, tips and special offers straight to your inbox each month or so.



Stay in the loop by connecting with us through social media.

Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube LinkedIn Pinterest

Treefinder can help you identify the perfect tree for your next project!

With over 400 tree varieties for review, the Treefinder app enables you to conveniently browse and compile a list of trees suitable for a number of common landscaping uses - from attracting birds to creating a formal screen or hedge. By selecting desired size, foliage, and a few categories, Treefinder opens up a world of possibilities.

Once you've found the perfect tree you can click through to our website for more information, availability and a quote.

Try it online

We are specialists in the environmentally sustainable production of premium quality advanced landscaping trees and screens.

For more than 47 years Speciality Trees has been a leader in the production and supply of advanced environmentally sustainable, containerised landscape trees for local government, the landscaping industry and retailers.

Learn more