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Step 4. Select suitable tree species

Choosing the right trees species depends on the region, site conditions, the purpose of the trees (shelter, carbon, biodiversity, timber), your personal preference (for example for native or exotic species), and plant availability from nurseries.

For shelterbelts, select species suited to local climate and drainage conditions, that grow tall, with a spreading branch structure. Incorporating multiple layers of shorter trees (e.g., acacias, casuarinas) and shrubs can improve shelter effectiveness and increase the biodiversity values of the planting.

Trees for timber production will depend on proximity to markets and the needs of these markets. Talk with local foresters, farm foresters, sawmillers or woodchip companies about species used, quality requirements and prices.

Biodiversity plantings will be a mix of native tree and shrub species that provide food sources and habitat for native birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. 

Fire risk to assets can be reduced by selecting deciduous species such as oaks. These species can be planted closer to buildings.

Consider your previously identified goals and locations of choice. Make a list of tree species that might be appropriate for your needs.  Identify local nurseries in your region to contact about availability.