Species selected for genetic improvement

From a long-list of many potential durable eucalypt species, NZDFI has  identified three species on which to focus breeding work, and a further four secondary species which will have some limited genetic improvement. A wider range of species has been planted in demonstration trials. 

Selected species for breeding work

Primary species which are the focus of tree improvement work:

  • E. bosistoana             Coast grey box
  • E. globoidea               White stringybark
  • E. quadrangulata       White-topped box gum

Secondary species with limited genetic improvement work:

  • E. argophloia              Western white gum
  • E. cladocalyx               Sugar gum
  • E. macrorhyncha       Red stringybark
  • E. tricarpa                   Red ironbark

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.