Paperbarks or Tea Trees

AllRound Tree Services loves paperbark trees!

The paperbark or tea tree (Melaleuca quinquinervia) is a classic tree of our neck of the woods. Native to coastal eastern Australia from Sydney all the way up the Queensland coastline, it is also found in New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea. It loves waterways, and can be found in swamps, floodplains, riverbanks and estuaries, often thriving in silty soils.

It is a small to medium-sized tree of the Myrtle family. Its bark is thick, papery and peels off, and is coloured variously white, beige and grey. You are likely to be familiar with tea tree oil, too, which is valued for its antiseptic and astringent properties.

A bird magnet!

The paperbark is flowering now – from late spring through to autumn. Its flowers look like sweet-smelling little bottlebrushes and are cream or white in colour. These flowers provide a rich source of nectar to many creatures, from flying foxes to bees and other insects, to a wide range of bird species. If your property is near water, has silty or waterlogged soil and you love attracting birds, then you should definitely consider this native gem. It also has been known to be very resistant to cyclones – our readers up north, take note.

Tea for two

The paperbark is also known as the tea tree, for the reason that you can make quite a tasty infusion of its leaves. Younger leaves are best for this, and some swear by it as a cure for coughs and colds.

The timber is also passable, and often used for fencing. A stand of paperbarks also makes a good windbreak.

If your property is suitable, this is a wonderful native to include on it. Contact us today at AllRound Tree Services for further advice about care and pruning of your paperbark tree.