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Some other sources for seedlings

 
David Wood
Posts: 50
Location: Sth Gippsland and Melbourne
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We've planted several thousand trees already at our agroforestry block. We're planning to put in a lot more. Most of our trees - eucalypts, acacias, banksias and other natives - have come from specialist tree nurseries as tubestock in forestry tubes. We're also having a crack at planting some seeds directly after appropriate stratification, water soaking etc.

But we're also opportunistic about getting plants from other sources. We bought several cypress varieties in pots at the end of last spring from a nursery having a clearance sale. These trees were already several years old which goes some way to justifying the extra price compared to tubestock. And we bought a few silver birch - also heavily discounted - as bare rooted trees.

Toona ciliata (Australian Red Cedar) is an excellent timber species that grows naturally in coastal New South Wales particularly heading up into the sub-tropics. But I've seen it growing successfully when planted in the Otways. There are specimens growing in several botanic gardens in Victoria. So we would like to grow some. I saw some growing at a property in the Yarra Valley. It's always nice to get a provenance that you know handles site conditions similar to your site. These trees produce prodigious quantities of seeds some of which were growing in the house gutters. So when the gutters were next cleared out, the property owner kindly put some of these seedlings in a seedling tray in their shadehouse. Unfortunately, due to one thing and another by the time I had the two seedling trays some months later, some of the seedlings were 1m tall! The roots had grown through the slats in the bottom of the tray. It was a mess. So I spent several hours laboriously cutting the tree roots free of the plastic. We potted them up but because getting the trees free of the plastic had caused all sorts of damage I thought most of them would cark it. My wife has a well-established Distressed Tree Management Process that essentially relies on giving them a good environment, looking after them and letting nature do its thang. After all, the trees have a strong interest in survival. We put them in some shade under some of our fruit trees in the backyard and we've fed them a bit and kept them watered. Those toonas are one tough species. 4 months or so later we've only lost about ten of the 70 seedlings I cut free. If we can keep them alive for another couple of months through Melbourne's summer - which so far hasn't been anywhere near as hot as last year's - they can go in the ground at the block.

We did a propagation workshop in late 2013 with the Otways Agroforestry Network. Part of this workshop covered pricking out very small seedlings into forestry tubes. We have some Myrtle beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) from this workshop that are now in their 2nd year. We will plant them later this year. We also took some cuttings off a Sequoia semper virens - the very tall coastal sequoia as against giganteum that is also pretty tall but tends to be a bit shorter with an enormous diameter - and propagated them. All of ours have struck and are now sitting on our back porch waiting to be planted. Sequoias grow very well in Victoria. They're becoming a well accepted agroforestry tree in New Zealand. The property next door to our block has an enormous specimen that I think might be a giganteum it's so big. And it's growing on an exposed slope with very little shelter. If they can grow that well in an unfavourable position, I think a few tucked away down in a gully might do OK.

We were at a nursery yesterday where we found some grevilleas on special at $2/pot. They look OK - we picked the best - and while they will probably be a bit rootbound we'll plant them and see how they go. Grevillea robusta (common name Silky oak) is a lovely timber and we're planning to grow some. What we bought yesterday won't get as as big as robusta but they have attractive flowers that have a market as well as attracting various birds and the timber may be good for woodturners.

Continuing with the opportunistic theme, we've also planted some volunteer nectarines from a friend's place. A lot of the fruit trees make nice timber. We'll manage these silviculturally with the intention of producing small logs. Because they're on natural rootstock they will grow larger than grafted trees. Cherries and apples can both get very large. I'm not sure how big a nectarine can get but all going well we will find out


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Toona ciliata seedlings under shade from fruit-trees
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Sequoia semper virens seedlings propagated from cuttings
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Grevilleas bought cheap at nursery
 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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David Wood wrote:We've planted several thousand trees already at our agroforestry block. We're planning to put in a lot more. Most of our trees - eucalypts, acacias, banksias and other natives - have come from specialist tree nurseries as tubestock in forestry tubes. We're also having a crack at planting some seeds directly after appropriate stratification, water soaking etc.

But we're also opportunistic about getting plants from other sources. We bought several cypress varieties in pots at the end of last spring from a nursery having a clearance sale. These trees were already several years old which goes some way to justifying the extra price compared to tubestock. And we bought a few silver birch - also heavily discounted - as bare rooted trees.

Toona ciliata (Australian Red Cedar) is an excellent timber species that grows naturally in coastal New South Wales particularly heading up into the sub-tropics. But I've seen it growing successfully when planted in the Otways. There are specimens growing in several botanic gardens in Victoria. So we would like to grow some. I saw some growing at a property in the Yarra Valley. It's always nice to get a provenance that you know handles site conditions similar to your site. These trees produce prodigious quantities of seeds some of which were growing in the house gutters. So when the gutters were next cleared out, the property owner kindly put some of these seedlings in a seedling tray in their shadehouse. Unfortunately, due to one thing and another by the time I had the two seedling trays some months later, some of the seedlings were 1m tall! The roots had grown through the slats in the bottom of the tray. It was a mess. So I spent several hours laboriously cutting the tree roots free of the plastic. We potted them up but because getting the trees free of the plastic had caused all sorts of damage I thought most of them would cark it. My wife has a well-established Distressed Tree Management Process that essentially relies on giving them a good environment, looking after them and letting nature do its thang. After all, the trees have a strong interest in survival. We put them in some shade under some of our fruit trees in the backyard and we've fed them a bit and kept them watered. Those toonas are one tough species. 4 months or so later we've only lost about ten of the 70 seedlings I cut free. If we can keep them alive for another couple of months through Melbourne's summer - which so far hasn't been anywhere near as hot as last year's - they can go in the ground at the block.

We did a propagation workshop in late 2013 with the Otways Agroforestry Network. Part of this workshop covered pricking out very small seedlings into forestry tubes. We have some Myrtle beech (Nothofagus cunninghamii) from this workshop that are now in their 2nd year. We will plant them later this year. We also took some cuttings off a Sequoia semper virens - the very tall coastal sequoia as against giganteum that is also pretty tall but tends to be a bit shorter with an enormous diameter - and propagated them. All of ours have struck and are now sitting on our back porch waiting to be planted. Sequoias grow very well in Victoria. They're becoming a well accepted agroforestry tree in New Zealand. The property next door to our block has an enormous specimen that I think might be a giganteum it's so big. And it's growing on an exposed slope with very little shelter. If they can grow that well in an unfavourable position, I think a few tucked away down in a gully might do OK.

We were at a nursery yesterday where we found some grevilleas on special at $2/pot. They look OK - we picked the best - and while they will probably be a bit rootbound we'll plant them and see how they go. Grevillea robusta (common name Silky oak) is a lovely timber and we're planning to grow some. What we bought yesterday won't get as as big as robusta but they have attractive flowers that have a market as well as attracting various birds and the timber may be good for woodturners.

Continuing with the opportunistic theme, we've also planted some volunteer nectarines from a friend's place. A lot of the fruit trees make nice timber. We'll manage these silviculturally with the intention of producing small logs. Because they're on natural rootstock they will grow larger than grafted trees. Cherries and apples can both get very large. I'm not sure how big a nectarine can get but all going well we will find out

ONya Woodie!
 
Steven Joel
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Location: Victoria, Australia
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Hi David,

The wife and I are currently looking for a block in Gippsland and plan to plant a lot of trees. Thanks for posting this list of what's working for you. Can I ask where you are buying the tube stock from? What's the pricing like?

Thanks!
Steve
 
David Wood
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Location: Sth Gippsland and Melbourne
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Steven Joel wrote:Hi David,

The wife and I are currently looking for a block in Gippsland and plan to plant a lot of trees. Thanks for posting this list of what's working for you. Can I ask where you are buying the tube stock from? What's the pricing like?

Thanks!
Steve


Hi Steven,

Always nice to hear that someone else wants to plant some trees in Gippsland. We were at a seminar last Friday in Berrys Creek that covered bee friendly tree planting for honey production. The organisers estimated 125 people turned up. There's definitely interest in Gippsland in using trees more effectively on farms for a range of outcomes.

First thing to do is decide what outcomes you're after from your trees. The Landcare model as it currently stands doesn't have timber, food and energy production from trees as key outcomes (although this might change with time) and is pretty much native focused. If the Landcare model is what you're after, depending on funding there's a range of grants and other support for tree planting. Join the local group where you want to buy your land and they will introduce you to nurseries and help get you going. Many active groups have planting days on member properties. And it's a good way to get some local networking started. We're Landcare members.

Have you started planning what you're after from your trees? Good questions to ask yourself are your priorities within goals including high value timber, onfarm construction materials, food and energy, habitat, biodiversity, riparian zone protection, stock shade and shelter, food, bee fodder, erosion and slip management, aesthetics and so on. And do you want to plant exotics, natives, only endemic natives or a mix. What sort of numbers do you have in mind? What micro-climates, aspects, soil and rainfall will you have on your block? We have a range of soil types and aspects including easterly to southerly on one side of the main creek to northerly on quite different soil on the other side. We have over 1000mm rainfall with reasonable summer rain so we can grow species that will struggle in dryer areas. But we would like to grow some of the boxes - excellent, very durable timber - although this will be a bit of an experiment at our site. We have some ironbarks in that are doing well so far although they are generally seen as a species suited to dryer areas. They do well in Melbourne. What trees will do well and thus what to buy or grow, and the numbers you want to buy, affects where to get the trees and what they will cost. If you only want a small number, raising them yourself from seed or getting a horticultural friend to grow them is an appealing option. If you will be planting in the thousands or tens of thousands, a specialist tree nursery will do all the work of getting them to seedlings ready to plant in forestry tubes or Hiko cells. But they will want between a bit less than a dollar to several dollars a plant. The specialist nurseries often grow species on spec or have orders cancelled so they have trees that can be bought in small numbers without being ordered. And they may have tubestock discounted in late October although planting them is a risk as to whether the plants will get established before the ground dries out.
 
Steven Joel
Posts: 15
Location: Victoria, Australia
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Thanks David,

I appreciate your detailed reply! Lots of information there for me to process. Thanks for the Landcare tip, I had not heard of that group before (I'm not a native victorian) and will be sure to join my local group once we settle on a block. The focus for us will be on yield producing trees. I am not stuck on a native only approach but will use local species as a preference wherever they fit best. Once we have sorted the block out we can start narrowing down a list of tree types that will suit the site and microclimates. It's an exciting process and I am enjoying the planning, but can't wait to get my hands dirty

What are your goals for planting trees on your property?
 
David Wood
Posts: 50
Location: Sth Gippsland and Melbourne
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Steven Joel wrote:Thanks David,

[snip]

What are your goals for planting trees on your property?


All the above

On a related note, Holmgren and Doherty are running an agroforestry course in April:

http://holmgren.com.au/events/permaculture-forestry-course/

 
Message for you sir! I think it is a tiny ad:
The stocking stuffer game for all your Permaculture companions
http://www.FoodForestCardGame.com
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