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Trees you can plant to attract Kereru

You can plant any of the following species to attract the Kereru population.

Many of these plants are available to purchase from Naturally Native, specialists in selling native New Zealand plants. Visit their website at

Common Name Species Description


Griselinia lucida

This shrub is generally an epiphyte in the wild but grows well in the usual garden situation. Will stand having very restricted roots so is suitable for narrow plants and tubs where soil can get very dry. Leaves are large and shiny green making a bold effect in the garden. Sun or shade. Damaged by heavy frosts. Good coastal plant. Size: 5m x 2m


Hedycarya arborea

A small tree with attractive dark green foliage and orange fruits which are a favoured food for Kereru. Grow in semi-shade and moist conditions. Young plants are frost tender. Size: 5m x 3m


Hoheria populnea

A fast growing tree, attractive in shape and form and beautiful in flower. They do best in good soil and will not tolerate persistent strong winds or long dry periods. Young trees in some species have different foliage form to the adult. Bark can be stripped off in fine lacy layers – the origin of the common name. Size: 5m x 2m


Ixerba brexioides

The tree grows up to around 15 metres in height and when flowering is a beautiful sight with perfectly formed flowers in very symmetrical bunches contrasting against a dark green backdrop of similarly arranged leaves.


Knightia excelsa

A tall upright tree with a particularly majestic look. The leaves are leathery, long and coarsely toothed and the flowers reddish brown and attractive to both bees and birds. It is a hardy tree and can be sued as shelter. Size: 20m x 3m.


Leptospermum scoparium

A quick growing tree useful for providing shelter to other plants and attractive in itself with its large white flowers. Very young trees will flower. Tolerates drought, swampy conditions and frost and so is a very useful revegetation or nurse plant. Worth planting for the wonderful smell of the leaves on a hot summers day. An important nectar source for bees. Size: 3m x 1.5m


Libocedrus plumosa

An exceedingly handsome tree with fern-like foliage and pyramidal form. Attractive bark. Its slow growth makes it suitable for medium to small gardens. Best in moist conditions. Size: 10m x 2m


Lophomyrtus bullata

Attractive foliage plant. Flowers are white with a fluffy appearance and are followed by red, edible fruits. Easy to grow in most soils where there is free drainage. Tolerant of shade. Size: 3m x 1.5m


Macropiper excelsum

A very attractive shrub with its broad heart-shaped leaves which are aromatic when crushed (used in indigenous cooking). Does well in shaded conditions as well as the sun. Frost tender. The orange fruits are eaten by native birds. Suitable for sheltered areas. Size: 2m x 1m

Mahoe/Whitey wood

Melicytus ramiflorus

An attractive spreading small tree with white bark and dark green leaves. Female bears numerous small purple berries along the twigs. Slightly frost tender when young. Size: 5m x 3m

Southern rata

Metrosideros umbellata

Southern rata grows throughout New Zealand , but most predominantly in the South Island on the West Coast.


Muehlenbeckia complexa

A coastal plant in sand dunes in large springy patches. It grows vigorously and is excellent for covering banks and difficult areas where weeds must be suppressed. Stands rigorous conditions. Is partly deciduous in cooler areas in winter. Is host to our little copper butterfly. Size: 1m x 2m


Myoporum laetum

A quick growing small tree, particularly suitable for providing shelter and shade in exposed coastal areas. Will also grow inland if protected from frosts when young. Very useful for establishing shelter in a coastal garden. Size: 5m x 4m

Red Mapou

Myrsine australis

A handsome foliage plant with red stems and yellowish green wavy leaves. Forms a dense bush which can be clipped. Grows well in most soils and localities. Excellent for growing under other trees. Size: 3m x 1.5m


Myrsine salicina

An erect small tree with long smooth leaves of reddish-brown colouring. Makes a handsome specimen. Grows well in shade or sun. Size: 4m x 1.5m

Silver beech

Nothofagus menziesii

Leaves are green all year round and contrast with a silvery trunk. Best in cool, moist districts. Size: 10m x 5m

Native passionfruit

Passiflora tetranda

A vigorous climber with glossy leaves. The sweet scented flowers are greenish white and the fruits (on the female plant) are orange skinned with bright red flesh inside. Fruits are enjoyed by native birds.

Manatu/ lowland ribbonwood

Plagianthus regius

A very fine deciduous tree. When young the leaves are small and the branches are interlacing but after about 5 years, the growth becomes more upright and the foliage larger. Most attractive clothed in new spring foliage and when in flower. Quick growing and hardy. Size: 8m x 3m


Pennantia corymbosa

This tree passes through a juvenile phase with twiggy, divaricating form. Mature tree has rounded dark, green leaves and abundant white flowers. Best in good, moist soils. Size: 6m x 3m

Tanekaha/Celery pine

Phyllocladus trichomanoides

A tall tree with a very pleasing conical shape. The foliage is celery like in the adult plant but rather feathery in the young. Moderately fast growing. Size: 10m x 3m


Planchonella costata

A coastal tree suitable for specimen planting. Plant only in frost free localities in good soil. Orange fruits. Size: 6m x 3m


Prumnopitys ferruginea

A very slow growing tree which has graceful sweeping foliage for many years. The red fruits are relished by Kereru. Grows in any garden conditions. Size: 10m x 4m


Pseudopanax arboreus

A small rounded tree with large leaves divided by 5-7 leaflets. The flowers are attractive to bees and the large bunches of black seeds are enjoyed by native birds. Hardy. Size: 5m x 4m


Pseudopanax crassifolius

Well known for its lance like foliage. The long serrated leaves shorten as the plant matures and, after many years, a round topped tree eventuates. Hardy. Size: 5m x 4m

Horopito/Pepper tree

Pseudowintera colorata

The horopito leaves are yellow/green and blotched with red on top and white underneath. When crushed the leaves are aromatic and peppery to taste. Slow growing. Hardy. Size: 2m x 1m


Rhopalostylis sapida

A very slow growing tree which does best in warmer conditions. When established, the tree is very handsome with its long trunk and “feather duster” top. Plant in a sheltered spot where there is plenty of moisture. Berries eaten by native birds. Size: 8m x 3m

Pate/Seven finger

Schefflera digitata

A small spreading tree with very large soft palmate leaves which make it an attractive shrub for planting. Large numbers of white and purple berries hang from the tree in autumn. Prefers most conditions and does well in semi shade. Size: 3m x 3m


Sophora spp

The kowhai is New Zealand ’s most well known flowering tree and deservingly finds a place in most gardens. Most are semi-deciduous and flower in early spring when there is little leaf cover. An easy tree to grow, tolerating a wide variety of situations. Golden flowers are very attractive to tui, bell birds and Kereru.


Vitex lucens

If there is space and a tree is wanted to attract birds year round a puriri is a good choice. Forms a large spreading tree with darg glossy green leaves. Pink flowers are produced almost year round and these provide nectar which attracts bell birds, tuis and Kereru. The flowers are followed by large pink/red berries. Protect from frost when young. Size 10m x 5m

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