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Sutton, NSW

buds, fruits

Natural populations

Eucalyptus melliodora is a common species in the grassy woodlands of the tablelands and western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, extending from northern Victoria, through New South Wales, with a scattered extension into southeastern Queensland as far norther as the Carnvarvon Range and to near Gladstone [1,2]. This species is usually 15–30 m tall andmainly occurs on on gentle slopes, foothills or on flats near watercourses. Soils include alluvials, loams and sandy loams.

Flowering and seeds

Eucalyptus melliodora flowers during August to December [1,3,4]. Seed capsules persist on trees until at least the following spring. There are about 360 viable seeds per gram [4]. Inhibitors in the seed coat that delay germination in this species are suspected and leaching or soaking the seeds in large volumes of water will improve germination response. The seeds start to germinate in about 5 days if grown at 25°C.

Cultivation and uses

Eucalyptus melliodora is a relatively slow growing species but is frost and drought tolerant [5]. It is one of Australia's premium honey producing trees and firewood species [1,3]. The wood of E. melliodora is very hard, heavy, strong and extremely durable and in the past the wood was used for heavy engineering construction, poles, railway sleepers and fencing [1].

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 450-1400 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
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)
Mean annual temperature: 9-18 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 25-32 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: -2-8 °C
Altitude: 40-1180 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant or 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)
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm) or moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage:  well-drained
Salinity: non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity
Extremes in texture: clayey
Salinity: nil - sensitive to saline soils or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen tree 15-30 m tall, usually produces a clear trunk
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: slow
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding; lignotuberous
Root system: moderate to deep or shallow and spreading
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: moderate
Potentially undesirable attributes
Growth habit: shallow roots may outcompete adjacent plants
Uses
Potential farm use: good for fence posts, good ornamental attributes or shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: flowers produce nectar for honey production, pollen has value for apiculture
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant
Wildlife value: flowers are especially attractive to birds
Wood products:craftwood (for turnery etc.), flooring (including parquetry), heavy construction, high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, panelling, posts (including fencing), railway sleepers, speciality timber for quality furniture, termite resistant
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]

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

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~melliodora

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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