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Researchers Develop Designer Trees

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Nursery industry experts are partnering with researchers to develop designer eucalypts that will be ideal for smaller home gardens. The designer trees will also be suitable for planting in a variety of urban landscapes. The results are a product of decades of work, beginning as far back as 1996.

According to Dr. Kate Delaporte from Adelaide University’s Waite Campus, propagation work is occurring to produce plants with flower size, form and colours of a specific type.

She said, “Eucalypts produce a lot of viable seed but their inherent variability means that there is no guarantee that a tree with red flowers will produce seed that grows into new trees that have red flowers.”

Dr. Delaporte explained that tissue cultures and grafting are assisting researchers to help assure the result.

To test their commercially-desirable characteristics, the newly developed trees will need to be tested over a number of years. It is particularly important that they do not grow to an excessive size or drop their limbs.

To germinate seeds, a new technique for tissue culturing is being tried.

Dr. Delaporte said that the key to a variety of new designer trees is developing a method that is viable economically.


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