Common name: Smooth-barked Apple
Although not an apple at all, Angophora costata is an excellent tree for public horticulture. A. costata originates in semi-coastal locations of Queensland through NSW and is typically found north of Sydney. In Victoria, we can find trees planted near 100 years ago, and still showing the fantastic bark and growth qualities that make this a favourite tree.
A. costata grows in Victoria on many soil types, but will not tolerate waterlogging. It thrives on most sites, including fully coastal sites that have a high sand content. There are few pest and disease problems that are obvious with A. costata, and the tree is easily-grown in most streetscapes.
In nurseries, A. costata can be difficult to grow. In Victoria, A. costata is notoriously difficult to germinate and grow on from seedling stage. A. costata is quite frost susceptible, and care should be taken with all trees planted in Victoria under 1m tall. Once the tree is taller than 1m, light frosts are not problematic, although A. costata is not recommended for Ballarat or the high country. Once in the landscape, A. costata will be trouble-free and give exceptional bark quality to any landscape. The bark is grey, flecked with dark red, especially in late winter. The tree grows quickly, and will form an arching canopy to 10m broad. The foliage is curved, and waxy, providing excellent contrast to the bark. The flowers are small, white, fragrant (although borne in masses) and the gumnuts are small and not problematic.
From both design and functional aspects, Angophora costata is an excellent tree for parks, gardens and broad streetscapes.
Typical mature height: 20m
Useful in: streetscapes, parks
Sites for best growth: all with free drainage