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Canberra, ACT

bark

Natural populations

Eucalyptus blakelyi is a common tree species in the grassy woodlands of the western slopes on the tablelands of New South Wales and Victoria [1,2]. In Queensland it occurs in the Stanthorpe area. This species can attain up to 25 m in height and prefers alluvial flats, midslope terrain or depressions with seasonal water flows. It is often found on loamy soils but also tolerates heavier types that have poorer soil properties [1].

Flowering and seeds

Eucalyptus blakelyi flowers mainly during November to December [1,3,4]. Abundant flowering in this species occurs on a 2-3 year cycle, depending on seasonal conditions. Seed capsules persist on trees until at least the following summer. There are about 600 viable seeds per gram; seeds start to germinate in about 7 days if grown at 25°C with no pretreatment required [4].

Cultivation and uses

Eucalyptus blakelyi is frost and drought tolerant and can be grown on relatively heavy soils. It is an important species in the honey industry as it provides a valued source nectar and pollen for bees [3]. The wood is dense, very durable and is used for fencing and firewood [1]. On land cleared for agriculture, remnant trees of this species have value in providing shade and shelter for stock. The seasonal susceptibility to defoliation by insects, such as lerps and Christmas beetle larvae, has resulted in the decline of this species in some areas and this could affect its use as revegetation species.

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 600-950 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 9-18 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 26-32 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 0-4 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): up to 20 or greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C) or severe or heavy (greater than -5°C)
Altitude: 150-1000 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 or tolerates heavy frosts colder than -5°C
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay) or loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5) or neutral (6.5-7.5)
Drainage: well-drained or poorly to imperfectly drained
Salinity: non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity
Extremes in texture: clayey
Salinity: nil - sensitive to saline soils
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen tree up to 25 m tall, usually produces a clear trunk
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: slow
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding; lignotuberousk
Root system: moderate to deep
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: moderate
Uses
Potential farm use: excellent windbreak, good for fence posts, shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: flowers produce nectar for honey production, pollen has value for apiculture
Wildlife value: flowers are especially attractive to birds
Wood products: craftwood (for turnery etc.), flooring (including parquetry), high quality fuelwood, posts (including fencing), speciality timber for quality furniture
Potentially undesirable attributes
Susceptibility to disease or predation: foliage highly susceptible to insect predation or pathogenic leaf diseases

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

[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]

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~blakelyi

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

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