Leaves, petals and foliage come in different sizes.  

So does gutter mesh.  

That’s why you’ll hear us say again and again that it’s imperative you match your mesh to the size of the vegetation in your area. If you don’t, you risk choosing a mesh that will let leaves through and into your gutters. And that’s just as bad as having no mesh at all.  

Of course, unless you’re a botanist, chances are you aren’t intimately familiar with the size of the leaves on different trees and bushes.  

So to help you out, we’ve put together this article laying out the size of leaves, petals & foliage on a range of trees commonly found across Australia. 

Needles 

Needle-like leaves are 1mm or less in width. They vary considerable in length, but it’s their width that makes them a challenge when choosing the right gutter mesh for your property.  

2mm and 4mm aperture gutter mesh will keep out most needle-like leaves. However, some needles may get through the mesh. Additional maintenance is therefore required for properties with windblown needles or overhanging trees that drop needles.  

Common name  Botanical name  Problem part/s  Tree height  Evergreen / Deciduous   Image 
Pine tree (a collective term)  Conifers / Pinus (cone-bearing plants)  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  3m+  E   

Sheoak  Allocasuarina / Casuarina  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  8-18m  E 
Bottlebrush  Callistemon  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  4-7m  E   
Paperbark  Melaleuca quinquenervia  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  5-12m   E   
Wattle  Acacia  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  4-5m  E   
Heath banksia  Banksia ericifolia  Needle leaves, flower stamens  5m  E   

 

Small Leaves 

Small leaves can be between 2mm and 20mm in width. Some grow up to 50mm in length.  

2mm aperture mesh is recommended to keep most small leaves out of your gutters and minimise the need for gutter maintenance.  

Common name  Botanical name  Problem part/s  Tree height  Evergreen / Deciduous   Image 
Poinciana   Poinciana delonix regia  Leaves, flower stamens  12m  D   
Jacaranda  Jacaranda mimosifolia  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  15m+  D   
Golden rain tree  Koelreuteria paniculata  Leaves, flowers  7m  D   
Pride of Bolivia / Rosewood / Yellow jacaranda  Tipuana tipu  Leaves, flowers  30m  D   
Black peppermint / Peppermint willow  Eucalyptus nicholii   Leaves, flower stamens  15m  E   
Mock orange / Orange jessamine  Murraya paniculata  Leaves, flowers  3m+  E   
Small leafed figs  Ficus obliqua  Leaves, berries  10-30m  E   
Golden shower tree  Cassia fistula  Leaves, flowers  5m+  E   
Hairpin banksia   Banksia spinulosa  Leaves, flower stamens  3m+  E   
Paperbark / Cajeput tree  Melaleuca leucadendron   Leaves, flowers  10m+  E   
Teatree  Leptospermum  Leaves, flower stamens  3m+  E   
Weeping fig / Benjamin fig  Ficus benjamina  Leaves, seeds  20m+  E   

 

Medium Leaves 

Medium leaves are 20mm to 50mm wide. They may grow from 50mm to 120mm in length. Gutter mesh with a 2mm or 4mm aperture is ideal for keeping most medium leaves out of your gutters so you can significantly reduce gutter maintenance.  

Common name  Botanical name  Problem part/s  Tree height  Evergreen / Deciduous   Image 
Tulipwood  Harpullia pendula   Leaflets, seeds, flowers  8m  E   
Hill fig / Weeping fig  Ficus hillii  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  15m+  E   
Queensland blue gum  Eucalyptus tereticornis   Leaflets, seeds, flowers  25m+  E   
Lemon scented myrtle  Backhousia citriodora  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  6m  E   
White oak / Brown silky oak  Grevillea baileyana  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  10m  E   
Coast banksia  Banksia integrifolia  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  25m+  E   
Trumpet tree  Tabebuia  Leaves, flowers  6m-8m  E   
Silky oak  Grevillea robusta  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  14m  E   

 

Large Leaves 

With widths of 70mm to 150mm, large leaves can grow up to 450mm in length – and sometimes even more. Gutter mesh with a 2mm, 4mm or 5.4mm aperture is all appropriate for keeping most large leaves out of your gutters.  

Common name  Botanical name  Problem part/s  Tree height  Evergreen / Deciduous   Image 
Maple / Japanese maple  Acer palmatum / Acer japonicum   Leaves  6m+  E   
Port Jackson fig / Rusty fig  Ficus rubiginosa  Leaves, berries  30m  E   
Alexander palm  Archontophoenix alexandrae  Leaves, seeds, flowers  15m+  E   
Bangalow palm  Archontophoenix cunninghamiana  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  20m+  E   
Brush box  Lophostemon confertus  Leaflets, seeds, flowers  10m-20m  E   
Magnolia little gem  Magnolia grandiflora  Leaves  4m+  E   
Sweet viburnum  Viburnum odoratissimum   Leaves, flowers  4m+  E