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Namoi River, NSW

Penola, SA

Wilcannia, NSW

buds, fruits

seedling

Natural populations

Eucalyptus camaldulensis is one of Australia's most widespread eucalypts. Recent morphological and genetic studies have delineated a number of subspecies that show a broad geographic replacement pattern throughout its range [1,2]. Subsp. camaldulensis occurs along riverbanks, creeks and the edges of lakes of the Murray-Darling drainage basin [3,4,5,6]. It extends south from southern Queensland, across most of New South Wales and Victoria, to the south east of South Australia. Populations extend to the Hunter River basin in New South Wales to near Aberdeen, and to the Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island in South Australia. While it is usually found fringing watercourses occasionally populations occur on adjacent floodplains such as along the Murray River at Barmah and in many of the wine growing regions of South Australia. Populations grow on a range of riverine soil types often on deep clays but includes sandy clay loams.

Flowering and seeds

This subspecies flowers mainly during December and January [3,4,6,7]. Abundant flowering events appear to occur on a biennial or triennial cycle. Seed capsules persist on trees until at least the following summer but in warmer areas may shed seed earlier. There are about 500 viable seeds per gram; seeds start to germinate in about 5 days if grown at 25-30°C with no pretreatment required [8].

Cultivation and uses

Eucalyptus camaldulensis subsp. camaldulensis is a commonly planted tree throughout much of southern Australia and numerous overseas countries [9]. Despite natural populations of this subspecies occupying a mainly riparian habitat, this subspecies grows successfully on a wide range of recharge sites. It is fast growing, readily established and is mainly cultivated for remediation of degraded sites, particularly mine sites and those affected by salinity [10]. There is substantial provenance variation in this subspecies. For example, seed from Lake Albacutya in Victoria is in demand because of its consistant vigour and salt tolerance across a wide range of sites [10]. Its wood has been used for heavy construction, railway sleepers, flooring, framing, fencing, plywood and veneer manufacture, turnery, and it is an excellent firewood and source of charcoal [3]. The heartwood is red, durable, very dense (does not float) and is resistant to termites. Its potential in hybrid combinations with other species is being assessed by the Australian Low Rainfall Tree Improvement Group [11]. The CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country website has information that relates to this subspecies [12].

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 325-750 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer or winter
Mean annual temperature: 9-25 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 26-32 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 1-7 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): 1. frost free or more or less frost free, 2. up to 20 or 3. greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C) or severe or heavy (greater than -5°C)
Altitude: 5-520 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant
Fire: regenerates foliage after damaging fire
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Wind: tolerates salt-laden coastal winds
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5), neutral (6.5-7.5) or alkaline (greater than 7.5)
Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage:  well-drained or seasonally waterlogged
Salinity: slightly to moderately saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity or alkalinity
Extremes in texture: clayey or sand
Salinity: moderate (-8 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: drainage may be sluggish at times
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen tree 10-20 m tall or tree > 20 m tall
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: fast
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding but is mainly non-lignotuberous
Root system: moderate to deep
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites or excellent for sandy sites
Windbreak potential: tolerates salty coastal winds
Shade tolerance: grows best in full sunlight
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: high
Uses
Potential farm use: good ornamental attributes or shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: flowers produce nectar for honey production, pollen has value for apiculture
Traditional Aboriginal uses: implements/artefacts
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant
Wood products: pulpwood (wood chips for paper pulp), craftwood (for turnery etc.), flooring (including parquetry), heavy construction, high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, panelling, poles (building, transmission, piling), posts (including fencing), railway sleepers, speciality timber for quality furniture
Potentially undesirable attributes
Susceptibility to disease or predation: susceptible to stem girdling by parrots in some areas

References

[1] Butcher PA, McDonald MW and Bell JC (in press) Congruence between environmental parameters, morphology and genetic structure in Australia’s most widely distributed eucalypt, Eucalyptus camaldulensis. Tree Genetics and Genomes.

[2] McDonald MW, Brooker MIH (in prep.) A taxonomic revision of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh.

[3] Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnson RD, Kleinig DA, McDonald MW, Turner JD (2006) Forest Trees of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

[4] Brooker MIH and Kleinig DA (2006). Field Guide to Eucalypts, Volume 1. Bloomings Books, Melbourne.

[5] Slee AV, Connors J, Brooker MIH, Duffy SM, West JG (2006) EUCLID Eucalypts of Australia. Third Edition CD ROM Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne. 

[6] Cunningham GM, Mulham WE, Milthorpe PL, Leigh JH (1992) Plants of Western New South Wales, Inkata Press.

[7] Clemson A (1985) Honey and Pollen Flora. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

[8] Gunn BV (2001) Australian Tree Seed Centre Operations Manual. Internal Publication, CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, ACT. [Online at http://www.ensisjv.com/Portals/0/atsc-opmanualcomplete.pdf  Accessed March 2008]

[9] Eldridge K, Davidson J, Harwood C, Wyk Gv (1993) Eucalypt Domestication and Breeding. Clarendon, Oxford.

[10] Marcar NE, Crawford DF (2004) Trees for Saline Landscapes. RIRDC Publication Number 03/108, Canberra.

[11] Harwood CE, Bird R, Butcher T, Bush D, Jackson T, Johnson I, Stackpole D and Underdown M (2005) Australian Low Rainfall Tree Improvement Group (ALRTIG) Update of hardwood breeding strategies, A report for the RIRDC/Land & Water Australia/FWPRDC/MDBC Joint Venture Agroforestry Program RIRDC Publication No 05/023 RIRDC Project No. CSF-62A. [Available from the RIRDIC website at http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/AFT/05-023.pdf Accessed 25/02/2008]

[12] CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country website: http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/WfHC/Eucalyptus-camaldulensis/index.html 

Internet links

ABRS Species Bank: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/species-bank/sbank-treatment2.pl?id=9456

Victorian Department of Primary Industry: http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/ Search site as several documents may relate to this species.

CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country: http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/WfHC/Eucalyptus-camaldulensis/index.html

Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food:   http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/content/lwe/vegt/trees/fs03300.pdf

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_camaldulensis

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