Assessing Tree Planting Stocks For Quality Standards In Different Climatic Regions of Australia

 

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Prof Mark Tjoelker is leading the Institute's project in conjunction with Horticulture Innovation Australia to assess the Australian standard for landscape trees and provide evaluation and analysis about the root to shoot balances of trees to support successful landscape plantings. This research helps the horticulture and landscape industry to ensure that trees selected for landscape plantings are of a high standard tested against commonly planted trees across a range of climates in Australia.


Results Summary Infographic: Findings From The Research

Published on 17 March 2017

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Explainer: Measuring Trees To Assess The Standard

Published on 13 February 2017


Tree Stock Standard Project Documents And Update Links

» Your Ley At Work: Meet Court Campany: The Ecophysiologist Behind Tree Stock (opens in a new window)

» Your Levy At Work: Tree stock field trials move to Andreasens (opens in a new window)

» Your Levy At Work: Tree Stock Standard Research Committee Meeting (opens in a new window)

» Presentation Updates at the 4th May 2016 Steering Committee Meeting (4 May 2016) (PDF, 6243.04 KB) (opens in a new window)

» Your Levy At Work: Treestock researchers start nursery visits (April 2016) (opens in a new window)

» Project Factsheet (October 2015): Tree Stock For Landscape Use (PDF, 806.87 KB) (opens in a new window)

» Your Levy At Work - AS 2303:2015 Tree stock for landscape use release date (opens in a new window)

» Nursery Industry Technical Paper October 2015: Tree Stock For Landscape Use (opens in a new window)

» Tree Stock Allometry Project Launch Slides (PDF, 3914.54 KB) opens in a new window


Landscaped garden
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 climatic regimes...


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.


The Project Steering Committee

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

Container Stocks
Healthy trees start with a full understanding of the species' physiology and growth habits under production and landscape conditions. Photo: Megan Hounslow.

For all enquiries about this project, please contact:

David Thompson
Communications Officer
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
(02) 4570 1623

Mature Landscape Trees
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

HIA
HIA

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.