Selected species

Choosing the right species for any given site will be crucial to success for growers. From a long-list of many potential durable eucalypt species, the NZDFI has initially identified five species on which to focus breeding work. A wider range of species has been planted in demonstration trials. 

Selected species for breeding trials

Five species have been selected as the focus for tree improvement work:

  • E. argophloia           Western white gum
  • E. bosistoana           Coast grey box
  • E. globoidea             White stringybark
  • E. tricarpa                 Red ironbark
  • E. quadrangulata    White-topped box gum

A number of secondary contenders may be considered in future. These include E. camaldulensis and E. cladocalyx. The NZDFI believes it is important at this stage to work with a relatively large range of species, rather than narrowing its genetic improvement efforts down to only one or two species. This approach will reduce the risks associated with certain eucalypts’ vulnerability, for example, to frost or pests and diseases.

Species selection criteria

Some of the species were selected partly on performance in earlier trials; others were chosen specifically for their timber properties or ability to hybridise. All species meet the following criteria:

  • Class 1 or 2 durability (Australian standard)
  • Good growth
  • Good stiffness and strength properties
  • Drought resistance
  • Relatively good frost tolerance
  • Established timber potential from experience in Australian markets.