Which trees survive cyclones? How do you help trees withstand cyclones?

Note: this was posted on 16 Feb 2011, after cyclone Yasi. 2024 Feb 9 – I’ve added a few notes/made some adjustments after cyclone Kirrily.

There is very little publicly available Australian information on what trees withstand cyclonic winds well and which don’t.  This is despite copious studies being made of areas hit hard by cyclones – for example Darwin after cyclone Tracy and Innisfail after cyclone Larry.  There is some good American information on what trees and shrubs stand up to hurricanes there, including a ‘Top 10 best trees to survive a hurricane’ but naturally these list trees commonly grown in the southern U.S., not Australia.  (Live oaks seem to top all the U.S. lists of trees that stand up to strong winds well.)  But there were two familiar trees on the U.S. lists.  One is the Crepe Myrtle, which are commonly grown in Australia.  Though they are native to Japan and China (not Australia or America) they apparently survive cyclones and hurricanes very well – although it must be said they don’t usually grow very high, in Australia anyway.  (It’s easy to survive a strong wind if you’re shorter than everyone else.).   The other is a species of eucalypt grown in the southern U.S. which is presumably an Australian native, and unsurprisingly, it is listed as coping badly with strong winds.  Date palms and cabbage palms are also listed as faring well in hurricanes.

Points to remember, when choosing trees, palms and bushes to plant in cyclone or hurricane prone regions:

–  Smaller leaves offer less wind resistance than large leaves.  However locally indigenous trees with large leaves usually shed their leaves early on in a cyclone, so the branches have less pressure on them.  Big trees with large leaves that aren’t easily shed, are under a lot more pressure from strong winds.

– Trees with branches arranged in clear layers allow the wind to pass through above and below each layer, relatively unimpeded.  Sea Almond trees are the best north Queensland example of this natural layering.

– Top heavy trees or palms – i.e. with very weighty heads compared to trunks and root systems – are a no-no.  The plant that deserves to sit up the top of the ‘don’t-plant in cyclone areas’ list is the Queen palm.  Why grow these when there are so many other palms that are so much better?

– Naturally flexible trees survive much better than those that are brittle and prone to cracking rather than bending.  The trunks and branches of young trees are often more flexible and survive better than old trees, however the former are more likely to be blown over if the root system hasn’t become sufficiently established.  Peltophorum trees are the trees I’d put up the top of the brittle-branch list – there wouldn’t be a single one in town that hasn’t lost a branch or two or a whole lot more – and any over middle age are full of scars from previous amputations. However – they rarely blow over and the trunks remain intact.

-The ground is often waterlogged by the time cyclonic force winds arrive.  Trees with a tap root or a deep root system are obviously far less likely to be blown over than species with shallow root systems.  Different species produce different root systems however soil type/situation also has a big bearing on the strength of the root system.  For example, trees planted in shallow topsoil which is underlaid by rock or dense clay, have difficulty establishing deep roots, just as trees planted in deep sand have nothing firm to grip onto.  Paperbarks live in the middle of northern rivers with deep sand but they send their roots very deep. You can tinker with the top layers of soil and make it ideal for small plants and bushes, but soil-tinkering is a waste of time when it comes to big trees because their roots need to spread such a long distance across and below, to be securely anchored during winds of more than 200kph.  In fact surface soil-tinkering helps foster shallow roots. If you want to grow huge trees and you’re dwelling on the side of a granite hill, you’re going to have to move to an area with deeper, more suitable soil – unless you’ve chosen a species that will happily send roots into cracks & anchor like a barnacle. Rock figs top this list.  Otherwise – be prepared to kiss your trees goodbye when a strong cyclone arrives. Check out what else is growing near your house: What age are the trees?  IE have they been through a category 2 or 3  cyclone? And a lot of rain before & during the high wind? If not – they’re totally untested.

– Naturally, trees indigenous to hurricane and cyclone prone areas tend to fare well by comparison to trees species from other regions and other countries.  If you’re considering growing something that is native to an area that doesn’t get cyclonic winds, check it out carefully first.

From Townsville observations after cyclone Yasi, I’ve been developing my own list of trees and palms commonly grown in northern Australian coastal towns that seemed to survive cyclones relatively well.

So what commonly grown trees and palms in northern Australia seem to do well or not so well in cyclones?

Common mango trees:

If trees could laugh, they’d be splitting their sides.  Much maligned by fashion victims who prefer a backyard as pristine as their white-tiled loungeroom, they have been cut down in their droves.  ‘They drop too many leaves’; ‘they drop too much fruit’; ‘they attract too many fruit bats’ etc are the reasons given.  But, thankfully, plenty still remain in and around Townsville.  And of all the trees here, they seemed to have fared best after Cyclone Yasi  – 99% look like nothing has happened, with only a few suffering a broken branch or two.  Best of all, mango trees obviously offer great protection from airborne missiles.  Mango trees are still dotted all around Townsville.

Tamarind trees:

Tamarinds are another ‘old fashioned’ tree that you rarely see planted now.  Providing extremely dense (& cool) shade, they drop lots of fine leaves and of course tamarind pods, and being so extremely shady, absolutely nothing will ever grow under a tamarind tree.  So they aren’t popular with the OCD gardener brigade either.  Like the mango trees, Townsville’s tamarind trees look like nothing has happened to disturb their peace over the last couple of weeks – I haven’t seen a single broken branch.   Adult Tamarind trees line the road side of Rossiter Park in Love Lane and the soccer field on the corner of Balls Lane and Ross River Road, in Mundingburra.


Popular suburban nature strip trees through the 1970’s, particularly, there are a lot of huge paperbark trees in Townsville suburbs settled in the 1960s and 70s.  I watched ours during the peak wind gusts of cyclone Yasi, and they were hardly even moving.  When the wind gusts were getting up over 100kph they shed the thick outer layers of paperbark, and they dropped fine twigs and leaves, but when the wind stopped the trees actually looked like they’d just been to a flash hairdressers and come out with a wedding quality hairdo – i.e. they looked tidier and healthier than before they were wind blasted.  As someone reminded me, their sheer strength is not surprising, given that they line the banks of massive seasonal rivers such as the Burdekin and Mitchell – often living right in the riverbed, and not just withstanding a torrent of wet season floodwater, but copping floating logs etc being caught up in their branches, yet still remaining upright.  Paperbarks look soft but they are incredibly tough trees.  There are lots of solitary, mature paperbarks scattered through Townsville’s older suburbs, plus younger plantings, such as the beautiful grove of young paperbarks near the corner of Kennedy and Mitchell Streets in North Ward.

Leichardt trees:

Leichardt trees are sometimes called ‘Leichardt pines’ due to the similar shape of mature trees.  However they are not of course related to pine trees.  Like paperbarks, Leichardt trees are often found growing along creek and riverbanks in north Queensland.  Large leaved, the round fruit attracts a lot of birds.  I have been surprised to see how well Leichardt trees coped in the cyclone – it seems most lost a lot of leaves early on, thus having to deal with less pressure from the wind.  Some have lost small branches but most appear to be remarkably unscathed.  The best Townsville example of just how tough these native trees are, is the Leichardt tree just downstream of Aplin’s Weir in Mundingburra.   This tree has it’s roots down amongst the rocks and takes the full force of any water pouring out of Ross River Dam and the full force of any wind howling up the river, and it looks as happy as a pig in mud.  Unfortunately, Leichardt trees are hard to grow from seed and difficult to obtain from nurseries. *Postscript – unfortunately the council chopped this beautiful survivor down, a few years after cyclone Yasi. There are still some excellent, mature specimens along the drain running through Anderson Park.


I’m not sure whether to list raintrees as faring well or faring badly.  However, given that raintrees are easily the largest Townsville trees (spread combined with height), they really deserve to be in the done-well category.   They had their heads stuck up way above any other vegetation, and the older raintrees are absolutely massive trees!  Many have broken branches and some have been destroyed.  But other huge and very old raintrees, have very little damage at all.  And they have done a sterling job of protecting whatever is immediately downwind of them.  Studying raintree damage throughout town would yield a lot of interesting information about wind patterns and the relationship with other nearby objects, and the influence of how healthy each specific tree was (influenced by water availability and soil types, etc).  Because some raintrees have been hard hit while others have done well and obviously there’s concrete reasons as to why this is.  The natural shape of the tree and quality of any pruning that has been done, are clearly influential factors too.  There are quite a few solitary and grouped raintrees around Townsville.  For example in Pioneer Park, on Riverway Drive opposite the Willows Shopping centre (Kirwan), and the park on Brownhill Street (Mundingburra).

Pruned raintrees in Ingham

Sea Almond trees  (Terminalia catappa)

Sea almond trees are native to the area and I love them because of their layered growth habit, large leaves and the hordes of black cockatoos attracted to the seed feast.  They did well or badly standing up to cyclonic winds, depending on your point of view.  Ours hardly lost a leaf and only one small branch snapped off, but other sea almonds around town lost more branches.  But it is this branch-dropping habit that protects the whole tree from being blown over.  Personally, I think they’re a priceless tree – standing spitting distance away from a feeding black cockatoo is a treat.  Anyone who loves a change of leaf colour to indicate a change of season would enjoy sea almonds also, as the leaves turn a splendid red/orange colour before dropping off, during the dry season.  There are quite a few sea almonds planted along The Strand (North Ward). *Postscript – our sea almond died during the following unusually hot & dry October. The arborist’s assessment was that the tree had been twisted so much during Yasi that it was damaged internally – Townsville had a lot of trees die during this period. They looked ok after Yasi but could not repair themselves to manage the savage wet season build up weather.  It was estimated that Yasi destroyed more than 6,000 trees during the cyclone – but the quantity that died in the months afterwards, has not apparently been studied.

Foxtail palms:

I watched the neighbour’s foxtail palms during the height of the cyclone and they didn’t turn a hair either; not even breaking a single frond let alone dropping one.  I guess it’s not surprising since they’re a native of Cape York Peninsula, right near a coastal stretch that has been hit regularly by strong cyclones.   They certainly don’t look like they’d stand up to a strong wind, but they do.  There’s an excellent stand of foxtail palms at the entrance to the railway station (near the corner of Charters Towers Road and Flinders Street).

Alexander palms:

Another North Queensland palm tree that as expected, stood up to cyclonic winds extremely well.  We have many in our garden (they provide large quantities of fruit for fig birds, Torres Pigeons, Bowerbirds, etc) and I watched how the wind affected them also.  Fairly early on the frond on each palm which faced directly into the wind snapped and hung down – but that was all that happened – the fronds didn’t even fall off.  Alexander palms are found all over Townsville, for example in front of the Podiatry business on the corner of Ross River Road and O’Reilly Streets in Mundingburra. These are THE best palm to plant in Townsville, for feeding wildlife, providing shade, and tolerating tough North Queensland conditions (drought, flood, cyclonic winds).

Fan Palms:

Quite a few species of fan palms are native to northern Australia and many are grown in Townsville.  Because of the large, wind-catching fronds you’d expect they would fare badly in a cyclone but it seems this is not the case.  There may be some fan palms that blew over or snapped off in cyclone Yasi, but I haven’t seen one yet.  All those I have seen look like nothing has happened!  The most likely explanation is that the ‘fan’ part of the frond is on the end of a reasonably long and very flexible stem, so presumably when a strong wind hits the fronds just blow over to the downwind side of the palm and move into the position offering the very least resistance to the oncoming wind.  Most fan palms are exceedingly tolerant of harsh conditions (hot weather, erratic watering etc) and there are many very beautiful species, so it is surprising that they are not more commonly found in private and public gardens in northern Australia, especially in specific locations that their dimensions are ideally suited to – eg road median strips.   Some beautiful, very hardy fan palms can be seen in the median strip on Ross River Road, out the front of Cathedral School (Aitkenvale).

Royal Palms:

Natives of Cuba, where presumably they’re weathered big cyclones over the years, they’ve done well.  Despite their appearance.  Apart from relatively stout date palms, royal palms are the largest palms – certainly the tallest – commonly grown in north Queensland.  The trunks are huge and so are the heads, and they can grow very tall.  We removed our two last year as they were growing up through the top of a huge raintree and I thought they’d beat the raintree to death if blowing about during a cyclone; but the neighbour’s royal palms did well – they look a bit tatty, but are already sprouting new leaves.  Personally, I wouldn’t ever leave a royal palm standing within striking distance of a house, however.  There are quite a few that have blown over, and they are so tall and heavy they demolish whatever they hit.  Unlike a tree, which will have a fall broken by a number of branches, there are no branches on a palm tree to break the force of the hit.   Royal palms are found all over Townsville and are easily spotted because when mature they tower over any other palms.  Royal palms line part of Flinders Street West (in the Townsville CBD) and Woolcock Street. If you plant a Royal Palm the rule is: plant them where they have absolute full sun, so do not become leggy.


I think pandanus is hugely underrated as a garden plant.  Yes pandanus trees generally grow slowly and yes most pandanus leaves are spiky and a pain to handle (literally).  However pandanus plants are incredibly hardy, they make fabulously quirky garden features (providing excellent afternoon shadows or lit up at night) and, they stand up to cyclones well.  Some have dropped a branch or two, but the main trunk and most of the branches seem to have survived unscathed.  Anderson Park in Mundingburra has a huge collection of different types of pandanus, and they can been seen around town in various locations, such as in some of the roundabouts along The Strand (North Ward).

Which common trees fared badly in cyclone Yasi?

Unfortunately, some of my favourite trees didn’t do well.

Weeping fig trees and Moreton Bay fig trees:

I love fig trees, they are one of my favourite types of tree.  But unfortunately I must admit that many of the mature weeping fig trees I’ve seen lately – from small to absolutely massive – have been horizontal ones.  No branches broken or leaves lost – and perhaps that’s partly why.  Trees that drop their leaves early, and small branches, put up less resistance to the wind and fare better than many that hang on to every leaf and branch.  Although we’ve had a lot of rain over the last few months, the cyclone brought relatively little rain (only a few inches), so this cannot be blamed for uprooting trees.

I have seen many Moreton Bay fig trees with huge broken branches – and believe that often it’s the stupid pruning of their aerial roots that doesn’t help the situation; they need all their aerial roots to protect the massive, weighty horizontal-spreading branches. It’s why they sprout these extra roots!

However, fig trees are spectacular and provide beautiful, dense shade – they are ideal for public parks and sporting grounds, where they can spread out without being pruned or having root growth restrictions.  So they are far less likely to fall over, and if they do, then there’s little likelihood of damage to infrastructure (water pipes etc).  Fortunately many of the younger weeping figs seemed to have survived in Bicentennial Park, between Queens Road and Ross River, in Hermit Park.  If you’re planting a big fig tree – ensure it has all the space it needs to grow into a complete, well-balanced specimen – and it will probably have no trouble surviving high winds and live for countless decades. Too many are badly pruned.

Frangipani trees:

It’s hard to beat frangipani trees as a symbol of the Pacific.  Townsville is full of frangipani trees of all colours.  Left to grow to full height they grow into surprisingly large trees, and unfortunately many of the largest and oldest frangipanis did not fair well in cyclone Yasi – simply blowing right over, roots out of the ground.  However smaller frangipani trees still have a full head of leaves and flowers and look like nothing has happened.  On the plus side, also, being hit by a falling frangipani tree would be akin to being slapped with a wet fish.  They are relatively light trees with smooth, pliable branches – they do not fall with anything like the force of a gum tree or royal palm, for example.  And foot-long frangipanni sticks can be broken off, dried and then stuck back in the ground to sprout a new tree, to produce flowers of the same colour.  The Townsville street well known for mature frangipanni trees of all flower colours is Love Lane, in Rosslea. Unfortunately frangipanni trees are incredibly easy to prune and this means that they’re often badly pruned by people who are flat out knowing which end of the secateurs are which. Most that blow over have been pruned & encouraged to become overly tall and top-heavy; without balancing lower branches. Helping them to survive means either leaving them alone, or pruning them to keep them lower to the ground & well balanced.

Frangipanni tree

Frangipani trees can survive strong storm winds if they are a good shape, not leggy, and encouraged to grow good roots (not watered too regularly)

Gum trees (eucalypts):

I love all types of gum trees, but Townsville is now littered with every type – from locally indigenous blackbutts to ghost gums, river red gums and cadagi gums.  Large broken branches, snapped off trunks, or simply blown over completely.   Although there are also many survivors.  Large parks and riversides is where the tallest-growing eucalypts belong, in cyclone areas. We must keep growing these trees, native wildlife deserves them – but they should not be close to houses.

African mahogany trees:

They don’t fare well in suburbia but do well in acreage/rural situations because:

  • a) they have plenty of room to grow their canopy and roots as they need to – not hemmed in by bitumen roads & pavement
  • b) they are left to grow into a balanced shape instead of badly pruned &
  • c) they are not over-watered or over-fertilised, so their roots go deep instead of staying close to the surface

*Note – this paragraph was re-written after additional information was encountered, re how well African Mahogany trees fared outside of suburbia.

Pine trees:

I have seen very few Norfolk Island pines that survived Yasi intact – many seemed to have blown straight over.  Given that they’re useless for shade, other plants don’t like growing underneath them and  they’re only good for eagles to perch on, from a bird’s point of view – why plant them?  I admit I’ve always been mystified as to why people do.  Norfolk pines look fabulous, squeezed between huge granite boulders on Magnetic Island, where they grow naturally.  But in a suburban garden?  I don’t think so – especially now it is apparent that they don’t handle cyclonic winds well.

*Postscript – a few people have told me they think Norfolk pines do well. I’m only going on what I saw – and that was a lot of suburban Norfolks lying flat on the ground, after Yasi!

Peltophorum pterocarpum (yellow poinciana, golden flame tree etc):

I’d always thought these trees were introduced from Africa or South America but apparently they’re an Australian native – from the Northern Territory (they’re also in Asia).  I must admit they’ve been one of my least favourite trees – often messy and straggly; sometimes riddles with borers.  Many blew over during cyclone Yasi.  They are very hardy trees (tolerating hot humid summers and cold dry winters) and grow well in towns between Townsville and Mt Isa, for example, but on the coast why bother growing them when there is so many better alternatives. These are great trees inland, where they’re from naturally – not on the coast.

Queen palms:

It’s puzzling why anyone would want to grow a Queen palm in a suburban garden.  Certainly they’d look great lining a driveway running for acres; but as they drop incredibly hard, heavy and pointy seed pods they’re actually quite dangerous.  Before we chopped ours down, I had found the pods buried up to 10cm point-down in mud in the backyard.  Wouldn’t do your skull a lot of good.  They aren’t self cleaning, and the truckload of tatty fronds, seed heads etc that accumulates up top is much favoured by nesting rats.  Their trunks are relatively slender with a very heavy head – so it’s no surprise that I’ve only seen one mature Queen palm still standing after cyclone Yasi; the rest have keeled over (onto sheds, houses, fences, etc…)  The only ones that survived are relatively stumpy.

Golden cane palms:

Alright I admit it, I’ve probably put golden cane palms in the ‘fail’ category because I don’t like them.  Popular decades ago, people still plant them even though there are much better alternatives.  But I admit, they are incredibly hardy – you couldn’t kill them with a stick.  But being hardy also means that like pencil pines, it’s almost impossible for any other vegetation to thrive underneath them – their roots form a mat as dense as concrete.  I thought they would be good cyclone protection but alas, quite a few of ours snapped off.  These were spindlier trunked ones that were competing more for light – stumpier golden cane palms seemed to have survived perfectly well – but I was very surprised that the trunks snapped, given they were in a reasonably protected location.  I guess the moral is to prune back anything spindly near houses and don’t grow full-sun trees in a situation where they have to compete for light. (I’ve never planted golden cane palms – just inherited them, when purchasing property).  These are not native to Australia, they produce an immense number of seeds, and the only wildlife that is attracted to them is bats (& probably only because the bats are hard up). There’s so many fabulous other palms including natives – why tolerate weed palms such as these.

There are several vital points to remember, to ensure the trees you plant have the best chance of survival in a cyclone:

 Suburban trees can live for many decades or even centuries and become much loved landmarks.   So have patience and get the start as perfect as possible.  When planting a tree, it is vital to start with a healthy plant, not one that is rootbound, stunted or diseased.  Saving several dollars upfront is ridiculously false economy!   Before planting your tree go and find mature specimens grown nearby so you know exactly just how high and wide your tree may become in your similar growing conditions, and ensure it’s got enough space to grow into a well balanced shape (unpruned by unhappy neighbours, electricity supply companies, road maintenance employees and not constrained by too many competing roots and branches of trees nearby).  You don’t want to find out the hard way that that little $9.95 rootbound seedling you hastily shoved in the ground was an accident waiting to happen in a high wind two decades later.

If you can, grow your tree from seeds produced by a healthy, locally grown tree whose shape you like.  I have often grown my own trees and palms, including boabs, coolamon trees, tamarind trees, poincianas, Alexander and livistona palms etc.  The sea almond at the front of our house was grown from a seed that fell from one of the best layer-shaped sea almonds on The Strand (Townsville).   My plant propagation methods are as basic as it gets – collect mature seed from the ground then throw them out onto soil (pots or a bare piece of garden bed), throw a bit of mulch over the top (palm frond ends) and wait for the seeds to germinate, usually over the wet season.    If you can’t grown your own trees and must buy them, then carefully CHECK that the tree is not rootbound when planting it out.  If it is, return it for a refund or quality replacement.  If at all possible, DO NOT buy and plant trees that are disproportionally tall in relation to the size of the pot they are squeezed into.  Ideally purchase trees no taller than around a metre – in fact 30cm or better still, small tube stock – to ensure the root system gets the very best start possible.  All to often people are misled into believing that the bigger the potted tree they buy, the sooner it will reach maturity.  However it is true that a (much cheaper) very small, healthy tree will quickly outpace a tree that has grown far too large for the pot it has been left in – even though the latter costs far more to buy.

– don’t stake trees or bushes if you can possibly avoid it and if you must stake a tree to prevent it falling over, only stake it for the bare minimum length of time.  It makes sense  that trees which experience strong winds when young, respond by producing more roots to brace against the wind pressure.  Staking a tree permanently is like keeping someone with a sore leg on crutches for good – their muscles will remain weakened.

– give young seedlings plenty of water but ease off as soon as they start to look like they don’t need to be mollycoddled.  Give growing ‘teenage’ trees only occasional waterings to keep them going during the hottest/driest periods, and give them good deep soaks rather than quick sprinkles.  This encourages the growing trees to invest energy in sending roots far and wide in search of the water they need.  Resist the urge to plant trees with in-ground watering systems eg amongst lawn.  Instead water them with a moveable hose/sprinkler so they’re watered on the edge of the drip line rather than right up against the trunk, and are weaned off gardener-supplied water altogether, as soon as is ideal.

– theoretically you shouldn’t dig out too large a hole and fill with another kind of soil (i.e. more fertile/friable) when planting trees (because the roots may be less encouraged to spread out).  In reality, if you’re planting a tree that will grow into a massive specimen, by the time it is mature it probably matters diddly squat whether the original hole was only as big as the original root ball or as big as a 20 litre drum, because the original hole created will be mostly if not completely taken up by tree’s root system.  It is however probably ideal to plant into a hole twice the size of the pot, just to make it a bit easier for the first roots to spread, and backfill the hole with whatever soil came out of it.

– the tree’s surroundings matter.  The taller the tree, the stronger the winds it will be subjected to – because the strength of cyclonic winds are reduced slightly at ground level due to the effect of vegetation, buildings, fencing and other objects etc.  So big trees, especially rainforest species, seem to get less of a battering if they are planted in a bit of a hollow.  They also survive better in carefully spaced groups rather than standing right out on their own or in straight lines, especially if they are out in the open.   Trees scattered around sporting grounds have a tough time during cyclones.  In Townsville’s Anderson Park, one of the ‘rainforest’ sections is on the westerly side of a large, open area which is slightly higher up, and these trees took an absolute caning.  Whereas mature trees tucked down on the slopes of a nearby creek/drain look virtually untouched.  It is the same along Ross River – most trees fared fairly well, except for an absolutely smashed section of the riverside bike track near Brownhill Street (Mundingburra), where the wind must have picked up speed up a long straight stretch of the river.

– remember that during a cyclone, vegetation seems to offer more protection to houses than it causes damage.  It is often said that the suburbs mostly badly damaged in Darwin during Cyclone Tracy were houses in the newest suburbs where trees and bushes were scarce, so there was little or no protection from flying debris – such as roofing tiles and sheets of iron. (There were also Darwin builders taking roof bracing shortcuts…but that’s a story for another day. Yasi & Larry were stronger cyclones, but there was less building damage.)

– every year before the cyclone season begins, cast a beady eye over vegetation near buildings and powerlines.  Prune off all dead wood and keep an eye on borer and termite damage.    It’s infinitely cheaper and easier to get essential pruning done before a cyclone than have to wait in the queue for a tree lopper after a cyclone has been through.  And quality pruning upfront can prevent damage that would otherwise occur in high winds.

– if you are cutting a tree off at the butt then any old chainsaw butcher will probably do the job.  But if you are having a tree’s health assessed and/or pruning done, find a good arborist.  Pruning that is too severe, not severe enough or unbalanced may well cause more problems during a cyclone than would have occurred if the tree was left alone.

–  Trees and bushes offer shelter, nesting areas and food for all kinds of birds and animals, they add value onto properties and lower air temperatures by several degrees.  As well as turning out oxygen.  Anyone who has a bare backyard should be sentenced to life on the western Queensland & NT  blacksoil plains where summers are excruciatingly long and hot and it is impossible to grow anything taller than the eves on a single story house (due to the naturally cracking clay drying out tree roots), until they wake up to themselves.  Either that or they should move into a high rise unit where they have nothing more than a few balcony potplants to kill.

…this is a work in progress, if you have any comments at all to make, please don’t hesitate to contact me.