Learn to identify and grow a wide range of Australian Native Trees
This is a serious course for the plant enthusiast, collector, nurseryman, landscaper or aspiring horticulturist.
- 100 hours of learning
- Tutored by qualified, Australian Plant experts with decades of experience
- Course developed by a team of experts led by John Mason, nurseryman, parks director , author of Growing Australian Natives" (pub. Simon & Schuster) and over 40 other books.
We mostly use Australian plants as garden specimens but they have many other valuable domestic and commercial uses. In the home garden we grow native plants to attract birds and wildlife. Native plants are also grown for their distinctive flowers, foliage and fruits which are highly valued by florists and craftspeople. Other useful products from native plants include essential oils, bush tucker and timber.
WHAT'S IN THE COURSE?
The content of each of the eight lessons is as outlined below:‑
NB: Tree Identification is an important part of this course. You will develop a systematic approach to tree identification based upon a knowledge of plant families and the taxonomic system.
Review of the system of plant identification
Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons
Characteristics of main Australian Plant Families
General characteristics of native trees
Information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs, etc.)
History of nomenclature
Ranks of Taxa
Principle of priority
Selection and spelling of plant names
Planting on slopes
Time of planting
Pruning native trees
Steps in removing a branch from a tree
Soils (Physical, chemical, biological structure)
Improving soil profile
Water and air
Soil Problems (Loss of soil fertility, Erosion, Salinity, Soil compaction, Soil acidification, Build up of dangerous chemicals)
Improving soils (soil additives etc)
Limestone Underlay Technique
Fertilising established trees
Choosing the right propagating technique
Hybrid seed production
Maintaining genetic identity
Improving curtting success rates
Whip & Tongue graft
Grafting selected plants ... Eucalypts, Grevilleas, Banksias, Hakeas
After care of seed and cuttings
Transplanting (seedlings, cuttings)
Potting up plants and Growing on
- Most Commonly Grown Varieties
Review dozens of relevant genera
- More About Important Groups
Diagnosing Tree Problems
Tree Surgery Techniques
- Other Varieties
Constructing a Rainforest
- Making The Best Use of Native Plants
Why plant trees in the Landscape
Problems with trees
Planting Techniques (Pocket planting, slope serrration, Wattling, Planting arid sites, Direct seeding, Spray seeding)
Edible Australian Tree Crops (Davidsonia, Quandong, Backhousia, Citrus, Acacia, Syzygium, Tasmannia, Kunzea)
Australian indigenous timber trees
Useful Australian Conifers (Actinostrobus, Athrotaxus, Agathis, Araucaria, Callitris, Podocarpus)
Australian Indigenous Palms
- Special Assignment
You select and conduct an in depth study of one plant genus or group (eg. Timber trees, conifers, trees from a particular region)
- To identify a wide variety of trees that are indigenous to Australia
- To describe the culture of Australian Native Trees.
- To propagate Australian Native Trees
- Compare characteristics and cultural requirements of different commonly grown species of Australian Native Trees.
- To compare characteristics and cultural requirements of conifer and rainforest species of Australian Native Trees.
- To describe a range of uses for Australian native trees.
- To study one type of Australian Native Tree in depth.
Duration 100 hours
More Uses for Native Trees
Hundreds of different plant species were used as a food source by Australian Aborigines. Nowadays we are familiar with just a few of those plants, although interest in bush tucker is undergoing a revival of interest as both home gardeners and commercial growers are discovering the diverse range of edible native plants.
The best known edible native plants are macadamias and Davidson’s plums, both of which grow naturally in subtropical rainforests along the northern coast. The ‘bush nuts’ (Macadamia integrifolia and M. tetraphylla) once gathered by Aborigines are now rare in the wild but have been bred for a number of years (mainly in Hawaii) to produce superior varieties that are grown in large commercial plantations. Trees grow 12 to 15m but smaller grafted varieties are available. The trees are slow-growing and require deep, well-drained and enriched soil. They need a protected position as they are sensitive to frost, winds and drying out. The nuts can be eaten raw or roasted.
Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia pruriens) is an attractive small tree that produces a sour plum-like fruit. The fruit are used to make jam, conserves and wine, and as a flavouring in sauces and drinks. The tree requires shelter from winds and frost, and adequate water during the growing season.
Bush Tucker Plants
Some bush tucker plants are harvested from the wild but as demand is increasing more varieties are being cultivated. Most bush tucker is minimally processed or value-added (for example, as dried spices or in sauces); only very small volumes are sold and consumed as fresh produce.
Quandong (Santalum acuminatum): A shrub or small tree with a wide distribution in semi-arid regions of southern Australia. The tart-tasting fruit can be eaten fresh although it is more commonly dried and then reconstituted for use in sauces, preserves, chutneys, liqueurs and dipping sauces.
Lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora): A rainforest tree that grows to 15m in its natural environment. The leaves have a strong lemon scent and are used to flavour a wide range of sweet and savoury foods. They are also used in non-food products such as cosmetics and household cleaners.
Native limes: There are six species of true native citrus, as well as a number of hybrids. Until recently most native limes were harvested from wild populations of the desert lime, although commercial orchards are now starting to meet the growing demand from restaurants and food processors. These include the following:
Desert lime (Citrus glauca) A small tree to 2-4m tall with small green to yellow fruit.
Finger lime (Citrus australasica) A rainforest tree to 10m bearing oval green to yellow fruit.
Round lime (Citrus australis) A rainforest tree that grows 3-10m tall, with rough-skinned green to yellow fruit.
GROWING NATIVES FOR TIMBER
Native trees are grown and harvested to provide building and furniture timber, fencing and pole timber, pulpwood, firewood and fodder.
The best known Australian native trees, the eucalypts, are grown extensively for timber and paper pulp production, both in Australian and overseas plantations. Their main disadvantage is the long period of time required to produce a harvestable crop. For example, mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) typically takes more than fifty years before it can be harvested. Other species, though, can produce commercial timber in a shorter period; for example, spotted gum (Eucalyptus maculata) can be harvested in less than twenty years.
Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) and black wattle (A. mearnsii) have potential as timber for furniture, joinery and pulp. They are also excellent for controlling erosion. Both require adequate rainfall to be suitable for use as timber.
In subtropical and tropical areas, the main plantation timber is the Hoop pine (Auracaria cunninghammii), although other rainforest trees, such as red cedar (Toona ciliata syn. T.australis), coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum) and Crows ash (Flindersia australis), are also regarded as important timber species.
In drier, inland areas, valuable native timber species include Callitris, Casuarina, ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon), river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Acacia.
ESSENTIAL OILS FROM NATIVE PLANTS
The flavour and fragrance of scented plants such as lemon myrtle, eucalypts and boronias is due to the aromatic compounds in their flowers, leaves and bark. When these are extracted by distillation, the resulting product is a volatile, colourless, oil-like material. Essential oils are used in food flavouring, and in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and fragrance industries.
Two native plants are harvested commercially for their essential oils: eucalypts and tea trees. Eucalyptus oil is mainly extracted from the blue mallee gum (Eucalyptus polybractea), a deep-rooted tree from the mallee regions of Victoria and NSW. The oil from this tree is used in inhalants, soaps, lozenges and other medicinal products. Other species used to produce medicinal oils include E. globulus, E. dives, E. sideroxylon, E. viridis and E. leucoxylon. Eucalypts used to produce industrial oils (to make disinfectants and industrial cleaners) include E. dives, E. radiata and E. elata. The lemon-scented gum (Corymbia citriodora syn. Eucalyptus citriodora) has been used to supply citronella oil. The production of eucalypt oil has a long history – the first eucalypt distilleries were operating in the early days of colonial settlement.
Tea tree oil is mainly extracted from a small paperbark tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) that grows naturally in damp soils in northern NSW and Queensland. Oil production commences in 12-18 months after planting, and the harvest continues on a 12-18 month cycle for up to ten years.
Other native plants that yield essential oils include the brown boronia (Boronia megastigma), mountain pepper (Tasmannia lanceolata), lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) and native frangipani (Hymenosporum flavum).
Australian trees are important for:
- Environmental management: Revegetation, land stabilisation, carbon trading
- Amenity purposes: shade trees, street trees, ornamental features
- Timber production ...and more
MEET OUR EXPERTS
Here are the tutors for this course on Australian Native Trees. Many have worked in this field for many years and have published works on Australian Natives.
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| |John L. Mason Dip.Hort.Sc., Sup'n Cert., FIOH, FPLA, MAIH, MACHPER, MASA
Mr Mason has worked in horticulture since 1971 when he graduated from Australia's leading Horticultural College -Burnley. He has worked extensively around the world, in both Victoria and Queensland (Australia) and the UK. Former nurseryman, landscaper, parks director and horticultural consultant. Editor of 5 gardening magazines, author of more than 70 books, including the 'Growing Australian Natives' and the 'Natives: Natural Beauty' books. John
started teaching gardening in the early 1970's.
Dr Lynette Morgan B.Hort.Tech(Hons), PhD in hydroponic greenhouse production
Partner in SUNTEC International Hydroponic Consultants, Lynette is involved in many aspects of production horticulture production, including remote and on site consultancy services for new and existing commercial greenhouse growers worldwide as well as research trials and product development for manufacturers of hydroponic products. Lynette is also the author of 6 hydroponic technical books.
Bob James QDAH. B. Applied Sc(Hort Tech),Grad Dip. Mgt, M;Sc (Enviro Sc.), PDC.
Bob has over 50 years experience in Government and Private Horticulture and Environmental Management Consulting.
His work is diverse across most branches of horticulture including nurseries, landscaping, horticultural education, environmental assessment, land rehabilitation; and more.
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Adriana Fraser Cert.Hort., Cert.Child Care, Adv.Cert.App.Mgt., Cert 1V W'place Assess & Training, Adv.Dip.Hort.
Over 25 years of experience in horticulture, business and writing.Adriana has written regularly for a range of publications (including Australia's national Grass Roots Magazine) since the early 1980's. She operated a herb garden in her previous home, hosting visits regularly from groups of students for plant identification and propagation lessons. She has worked in TAFE as a teacher and in community education as well as project management for the establishment of public parks and gardens. She continues to be actively involved in writing, horticultural consultancy and organic and practical gardening; in addition to her work for ACS.
|Maggi Brown |
Maggi is regarded as an expert in Organic Growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more them three decades. She has exhibited at Chelsea Flower show and worked widely as a consultant for decades.
Gavin Cole B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design, MACA
Gavin has three decades of industry experience in Landscaping, Publishing and both the UK and Australia, across landscaping and the amenity plant sector. He was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up his own firm. He spent the best part of three years working in our Gold Coast office.
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|Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Higher Dip. (Garden Design), RHS Advanced Cert. Horticulture, Cert Admin.Mgt., Dip. Inst. Personnel Management |
In addition to her RHS horticulture, garden design, City & Guild construction, NPTC pesticide/legislation and business/management qualifications, Diana has a variety of skills drawn from setting up Arbella Gardens, a landscape gardening business. She also has administrative, management and training delivery experience drawn from her employment in other organisations such as the NHS and other educational institutions such as schools & universities. She has augmented her training expertise having gained the Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector qualification. She also has experience gained through working as a volunteer in a number of different roles including amenity style gardening in parks and practical conservation work.
Rosemary Davies Dip Hort Sc. Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others.