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Leichardt River, Qld

George River, WA

seedling

buds

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. obtusa occurs along rivers and creeks of tropical northern Australia [3]. It extends west from the Kimberley region of Western Australia, across Northern Territory to western parts of north Queensland. This is a riverine tree with mostly cream to white bark up to 25 m tall.

Flowering and seeds

Most populations of subsp. obtusa flower during October-November [1,4]. Seed capsules tend to persist on trees until at least the following summer. There are about 750 viable seeds per gram; seeds start to germinate in about 5 days if grown at 25-30°C with no pretreatment required [4].

Cultivation and uses

Provenances of subsp. obtusa such as Katherine, Northern Territory have been commonly cultivated in a number of overseas countries [5, 6]. Despite natural populations of this subspecies being strictly riparian it grows on a wide range of recharge sites. It is a fast growing, readily established and has mainly been cultivated for firewood, timber and pulpwood [6].

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 400-1250 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer
Mean annual temperature: 18-34 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 34-39 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 10-16 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): frost free or more or less frost free or up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 30-400 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
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 neutral (6.5-7.5)
Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: 1. well-drained or seasonally waterlogged
Salinity: slightly to moderately saline or non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity
Extremes in texture: clayey or sand
Salinity: moderate (-8 dS m-1) or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: drainage may be sluggish at times
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen tree 10-20 m tall, tree > 20 m tall, usually produces a clear trunk
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: fast
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding; lignotuberous
Root system: moderate to deep
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites or excellent for sandy sites
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
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: craftwood (for turnery etc.), heavy construction, high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, speciality timber for quality furniture

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] 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]

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

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

Internet links

Alice Spings Town Council: http://www.alicesprings.nt.gov.au/community/environment/recommended_native_plants

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