New Zealand Christmas Tree

Metrosideros excelsa

Metrosideros excelsus (New Zealand Christmas Tree) - full view

Full view

Metrosideros excelsus (New Zealand Christmas Tree) - flowers

Foliage detail

Metrosideros excelsus (New Zealand Christmas Tree) - bark

Bark detail

  • Size:

    Height: 25-35'; Spread: 25'

  • Growth:

    Slow to moderate

  • Character:

    Evergreen; oval, spreading form; dense canopy.

  • Foliage:

    Dark gray-green, leathery leaves, 2-3" long, hairy white beneath.

  • Flower:

    Dark red flowers, in clusters 3-5" across with stamens 1" long, bloom in multiple flower cycles throughout the year.

  • Fruit:

    Leathery, green-brown seed capsules, 1/4" across, stay on tree year-round.

  • Bark:

    Rough, dark brown bark.

  • Watering:

    In general, 15-20 gallons per week for the first 2 years; 15-20 gallons twice a month for the 3rd year; as needed after 3 years (varies by soil, sun, and wind conditions).

  • Tree Care:

    Moderate. Early pruning needed to train a good shape; pruning needed less frequently with age. Occasional removal of suckers. Periodic sidewalk clean-up during flower drop.

  • Tolerance:

    Drought (once established), any soil, salt air; gusty, steady, or cold winds; smog, fog. Sun or shade.

  • Special Considerations:

    Mature tree can develop significant roots. Prefers well-drained soil. Suitable for a large basin (3x4' or larger).

  • Notable Traits:

    Native to New Zealand. Excellent choice for coastal neighborhoods; tolerates prevailing winds. Disease and pest resistant.