Growth, coppicing and flowering of Australian tree species in southeast Queensland, Australia.
Early data on growth, coppicing ability and flowering are presented for 148 Australian species from 27 genera derived from a range of environments and established in trials in SE Queensland from 1984 to 1986. Some information is also provided on potentially destructive sources of damage, especially insects. Generally, the most successful species were those originating from wetter and warmer areas while those from cool, dry environments failed. Nevertheless, many species derived from dryland areas have performed well in cultivation under the moist subtropical conditions of the region. A number of species previously unknown in cultivation have shown very fast growth rates comparable with those of species used currently in commercial plantings. There has been substantial variation in performance between provenances for some species, highlighting the importance of assessing provenance as well as species performance. Within-provenance variation has also been substantial in some species; in such cases a tree improvement programme may be warranted in the longer term to realize their potential fully. Coppicing ability has been consistent across many of the genera but varied widely within Acacia, ranging from complete failure to abundant regeneration through root suckering following cutting. The capacity to spread by regeneration by root suckering in some species, or by prolific seeding in others, indicates high potential for weediness; introduction of such species into foreign environments needs to be treated with considerable caution.