Outreach Project: Surveys Of Landscape Tree Stocks
Outreach Project: Surveys Of Landscape Tree Stocks
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After successfully completing the research phase of the Tree Stock Standard project, the research revealed that the currently-adopted quality standard AS2303:2015 does not accurately reflect the size index parameters of landscape trees in Australian nurseries.
The current standard imposes limits that are too narrow, meaning that landscape trees are being potentially rejected by the standard when in fact they are of acceptable quality.
This means that the data that informs the standard suggests that the standard could be revised to take in more accurate and representative measures of what trees in Australian nurseries look like to broaden the acceptability and sale-ability of more trees.
National Outreach Tour In Six Regions and Technical Guide Document
The next phase of this project running from August 2017 to August 2018 is to take the results to audiences around Australia.
This will include workshops and events in six cities/regions and production of a technical guide document that can help tree selectors make better decisions about tree quality based on data from the field surveys conducted in the first phase of the project.
Beautiful urban landscapes need strong, healthy and well-grown tree stocks, like these Manchurian Pears (Pyrus ussuriensis). These trees provide colour, shade and aesthetics all year round. Photo: David Thompson
The importance of healthy trees in urban landscapes is widely recognised as an important factor in the wellbeing of our populations and improving the liveability of our towns and cities. The nursery industry is championing significant increases in urban greenspace within the next five under the 202020
Vision project, calling for 20% more greenspace in urban centres by the year 2020.
The industry is committed to providing high-quality landscape trees and the recent adoption of the standard AS2303:2015 Tree Stock For Landscape Use is aimed at ensuring that trees conform to known standards that recognise the specific physiology, structural attributes and performance under different climatic regimes in order to assure a long and productive life in landscape plantings.
Presently, the standard enables assessment of performance metrics of landscape trees but there is a considerable gap in available knowledge on the performance of trees that includes climatic, species and container size. This research will provide the missing information through multivariate testing
of these factors to consider their effects in an integrated way.
The industry is committed to providing high-quality landscape trees and the recent adoption of the standard AS2303:2015 Tree Stock For Landscape Use is aimed at ensuring that trees conform to known standards that recognise the specific physiology, structural attributes and performance under different
Conducting The Research
The research project has two main objectives:
1. Acquire baseline information on root to shoot balance of tree planting stock and performance metrics
Our researchers will consult the international peer-reviewed scientific and trade literature to compile a database on root to shoot balance metrics and industry best practices.
This literature review aims to provide quantitative data that will be analysed to assess the metrics of tree stocks, including container volume, rootball diameter, stem caliper, stem taper, height and crown volume.
The findings from this phase will be made available to industry following publication in scientific journals.
2. Quantify root to shoot balance in tree stock for contrasting regions of Australia
In addition to the literature review, this research also includes field testing at nursery grower locations across Australia to evaluate varying climate conditions and species.
The fieldwork will:
determine regional and species differences in appropriate root to shoot balance of tree stock
develop metrics according to Australian Standard AS2303:2015 to produce lookup tables for rapid, cost-effective quantification and categorization of root to shoot balances.
These results will help to enable tree growers and buyers to produce and purchase trees of high-quality that are consistent with durability and resilience in Australia's climate.
Outreach Tour Schedule
August and September 2017: Project planning and implementation commences, with the hiring of a new Project Officer to handle the logistics of the outreach phase from August 2017 to August 2018.
October 2017 to February 2018: In this initial stage of the project, we will be focusing on the production of the Technical Guide and the planning and bookings for travel to each of the six regions. Towards the end of 2017, we will announce exact tour dates and schedules.
March and April 2018: Around this point, we will conduct the first two of the six Outreach Tours and more details on these tours will be forthcoming.
May and June 2018: Around this point, we will conduct the third and fourth Outreach Tours and more details on these tours will be forthcoming.
July and August 2018: Around this point, we will conduct the fifth and sixth Outreach Tours and more details on these tours will be forthcoming.
Nursery Paper July 2017 - Testing The Tree Stock Standard
The Australian standard for producing quality landscape trees ensures a nationally consistent benchmark for quality tree stock for landscape use. A component of the current standard focusing on root to shoot balance criteria can be influenced by the climate trees are grown in, the species of tree,
the treatment they receive in the nursery, and regional differences in their performance. July 2017 HortJournal Nursery Paper: Testing The Tree Stock Standard (opens in a new window) (PDF)
For all enquiries about this project, please contact:
We are grateful for the advice and support of treestock growers from a range of Australian locations. Our committee is:
Ms Leanne Gillies (Fleming's Nurseries - VIC)
Mr Ken Bevan (Alpine Nurseries – NSW)
Ms Carole Fudge (Benara Nurseries – WA)
Mr Hamish Mitchell (Speciality Trees – VIC)
Mr Tim Carroll (Andreasens Green – NSW)
Mr Chris O'Connor (Nursery and Garden Industry NSW)
Dr Anthony Kachenko - Horticulture Innovation Australia
Trees can last for decades and represent a significant investment. This research is helping to ensure that landscape tree plantings are resilient, durable and assured of quality. Photo: David Thompson
This project "Evaluation of Nursery Tree Stock Balance Parameters" (REDI ID 15294) has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the nursery research and development levies and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.