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Silverton, NSW

near Louth, NSW

buds

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. subcinerea occurs along seasonal rivers and creeks of the Eyre drainage basin and internal drainage systems of the Western Shield in Western Australia [3]. It extends from western New South Wales and south western Queensland, across most of the arid zone of central Australia to the Murchison region of Western Australia. It is absent from river systems in the southwest of Western Australia where it is displaced by another riparian red gum, E. rudis . Intergrade populations involving E. rudis and subsp. subcinerea occur in a broad zone overlap south from the Murchison region to near Moora, north east of Perth [3,4]. Subsp. subcinerea usually occurs on alkaline, reddish riverine sands and sandy loams.

Flowering and seeds

Most populations of subsp. subcinerea flower during October to December [4, 5]. Seed capsules 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 [5].

Cultivation and uses

Eucalyptus camaldulensis subsp. subcinerea is planted throughout much of southern Australia, often in semi-arid and arid areas. Despite natural populations of this subspecies being strictly riparian, subsp. subcinerea grows well on a wide range of recharge sites. It is hardy, fast growing and its ease of establishment has made it a popular amenity and shelter tree on farms in many districts. There is substantial provenance variation in this subspecies. Seeds sourced from the Silverton area in far western New South Wales and near Wiluna in Western Australia have shown superior growth, frost and salt tolerance compared to other provenances [6,7].

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 150-500 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 14-28 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 33-38 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 3-8 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 20-600 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be tolerant of protracted droughts
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, 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
Salinity: highly saline or slightly to moderately saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: alkalinity
Extremes in texture: sand
Salinity: high (9-16 dS m-1), 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
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 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: moderate to high
Uses
Potential farm use: good ornamental attributes, 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: craftwood (for turnery etc.), high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, speciality timber for quality furniture
Potentially undesirable attributes
Susceptibility to disease or predation: susceptible to stem girdling by parrots

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] 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.

[5] 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]

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

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

Internet links

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

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

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