Araucaria heterophylla
Family: Araucariaceae
Common name: Norfolk Island Pine

Sea-side holidays in southern Australia almost always mean a beach lined with majestic Norfolk Island Pines. These trees, which do originate on Norfolk Island, are not endemic to the Australian mainland, but instead come only from Norfolk Island. A. heterophylla has thrived in Australia, and is extremely useful because of its wind tolerance and adaptation to extremely sandy soils.

Norfolk Island Pine is fully evergreen in Melbourne, and the individual needles usually last 2 years. Because these needles and branchlets do not synchronously drop, it is frequent to find some needle/branch litter at all times. This litter is a minor issue only.

In Melbourne, we find that A. heterophylla will tolerate both very sandy, and high clay fraction soils, provided that free drainage is provided. A. heterophylla has proven very useful in Melbourne because of its significant wind tolerance and its ability to withstand fairly concentrated salt spray.

Norfolk Island Pine is a heritage planting, with many of the older park skylines showing the typical outline of this tree. Consider using A. heterophylla if you want the turn-of-the-century style with a tree that will be robust, handsome and long lived.

Typical mature height: 30m+
Useful in: streetscapes, avenues, foreshores
Sites for best growth: well-drained, sands