Growth and survival of provenances of snow gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora) and other hardy eucalypts
Carried out by: University of Cumbria
This project explored the performance of species and provenances of particularly hardy Eucalyptus in two of four trials established in 1985. The origins selected in the trials were based on performance of trials established in 1981 and which were subjected to a particularly severe winter in 1981/82. A trial in the series at Chiddingfold near Forest Research’s Alice Holt research station was assessed in 2009. The project involved examining growth and survival of a trial at Torridge and one at Thetford of snow gums and other more hardy origins.
SFT Funds Awarded: £2,549
The majority of origins tested at the trials were not sufficiently hardy to be considered for planting on similar sites. An origin that performed well in both trials, was E. pauciflora ssp debeuzevillei (239) from Mount Ginini in the Australian Capital Territories. However, the growth rate was poor compared with many other eucalypts but greater over 25 years than that of naturalised or native broadleaves, the best origin achieving 10 m3 ha-1 year-1 at an age of 25 years at Torridge and around 7 m3 ha-1 year-1 at Thetford. This compares unfavourably with the yields possible on the sites using exotic conifers. The growth of two small plots of E. nitens at Torridge, yielding an estimated 39 m3 ha-1 yr-1 over twenty five years, illustrates the productive potential of some eucalypts, provided careful matching of species to site is achieved. However, the complete failure of this species at an earlier trial at Thetford highlights the importance of developing an understanding of the site limitations for the different types of eucalypts.