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Archer River, Qld

Helenvale, Qld

Tilba Tilba, NSW

buds

cultivated seedling

Natural populations

This species exends over much of eastern Australia, from southern coastal and subcoastal parts of New South Wales to the wet tropics of north Queensland [1,2]. There are two recognised subspecies: subsp. tereticornis may be up to 50 m tall is most common in tall open forests of the coastal plains and adjacent ranges of eastern Queensland and New South Wales; while subsp. mediana is smaller tree up to 20 m in height with a separate occurrence in coastal eastern Victoria. Subsp. tereticornis grows on a wide range of geological substrates, from alluvial floodplains to volcanic mountain sides. Subsp. mediana occurs in coastal wetlands.

Flowering and seeds

Subsp. tereticornis flowers from June to November and has a wide latitudinal gradient in flowering times with flowering commencing earliest in northern populations and later in southernmost populations [3]. Seed capsules persist on trees until at least the following flowering period, however, tropical populations tend to shed seed shortly after maturation. Subsp. mediana flowers later during November to January. There are about 600 viable seeds per gram; seeds start to germinate in about 5 days if grown at 25-30°C with no pretreatment required [3].

Cultivation and uses

Eucalyptus tereticornis is a relatively fast growing species that can be used as a shelterbelt or shade tree or to control gully erosion. Provenance variation in this species is substantial [6] so matching provenances to adverse sites (e.g. saline or frost prone) may be critical. This species has been widely cultivated in many overseas countries for firewood, construction timber, particleboard and pulpwood and as a hybrid with E. camaldulensis to remediate saline and sodic soils [4]. In Australia, the wood has been used for a wide range of purposes including fuel, charcoal, paper, poles, posts, mining timber, hardboard, machine bearings, heavy engineering construction and particleboard [1]. Natural stands are an important food tree for koalas, a habitat for the common striped possum and a major source of pollen and honey for apiculture [5].

Key descriptors:
Subsp. tereticornis:
Climate parameters
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer or uniform
Mean annual temperature: 12-27 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 23-35 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 1-17 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): frost free or more or less frost free, up to 20 or greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Mean annual rainfall (mm): 600-2500 mm
Altitude: 0-7 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be drought sensitive or 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) or 2. neutral (6.5-7.5)
Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage:  well-drained
Salinity: slightly to moderately saline or non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Salinity: nil - sensitive to saline soils or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: usually produces a clear trunk
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding; lignotuberous
Root system: moderate to deep
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites
Windbreak potential: tolerates salty coastal winds
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Uses
Potential farm use: shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: flowers produce nectar for honey production or pollen has value for apiculture
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant
Wildlife value: a critical food source for at least one species
Wood products: pulpwood (wood chips for paper pulp) or rayon, craftwood (for turnery etc.), flooring (including parquetry), heavy construction, high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, light construction, panelling, poles (building, transmission, piling), posts (including fencing), railway sleepers, speciality timber for quality furniture, wood composites

Subsp. mediana:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 640-770 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: uniform
Mean annual temperature: 12-15 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 24-26 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 3-4 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 0-0 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be drought sensitive
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: sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5)
Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage:  poorly to imperfectly drained or seasonally waterlogged
Salinity: moderately to highly saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity
Extremes in texture: sand
Salinity:  slightly to moderately saline to high (9-16 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: drainage may be sluggish at times
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen tree up to 20 m tall, usually produces a clear trunk
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding; lignotuberous
Root system: moderate to deep
Erosion control potential: excellent for sandy sites
Windbreak potential: tolerates salty coastal winds
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Uses
Potential farm use: shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: flowers produce nectar for honey production, pollen has value for apiculture
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant

References

[1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] 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]

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

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

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

Internet links

PlantNET National Herbarium of New South Wales: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Eucalyptus~tereticornis

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