Do you want to work with Australian flora?
  • Work on re-vegetation projects
  • Work in national parks
  • Work in an Australian natives nursery
  • Work on tree planting programs
  • Work in agroforestry
  • Work in native tree management
 This course first teaches you about different types of Australian flora, plant identification, information sources, planting, feeding, soils, pests & diseases, watering, propagation and transplanting. The remaining lessons then deal with selected varieties of trees, windbreak planting, agroforestry, tree maintenance and tree selection.

Learn How to Grow Australian Native Trees

Many of the worlds most commonly grown trees originate in Australia.

These include a great diversity of species: Ficus benjamina (one of the most commonly grown indoor plants world wide: but also a tree); Araucaria heterophylla (The Norfolk Island Pine) and of course well over 500 different species of Eucalyptus (some authorities divide these into Eucalyptus and Coryamba).

Australian Native trees occur in all types of climates: from parts of Tasmania which are under snow for more than half of the year, to tropical rainforests and inland deserts.

Most of the trees that occur naturally in Australia, do not occur naturally any other part of the world.

Some species however that are indigenous to Australia are also indigenous to other countries (mostly nearby places such as New Guinea or close Pacific island countries).

Australian native trees are increasingly grown not only inside Australia, but all around the world.

Because of the great diversity of conditions found within Australia, and the harshness and variability of some areas in particular; the Australian continent has been able to develop a diverse range of highly adaptable species.

Australian trees are being used in America, Africa, the middle east, and elsewhere, to revegetate and landscape areas where other plants have failed before.


Identification is all Important

The first and most important thing you need to understand is how these trees are named. Accurate plant identification is essential before you can properly decide what to grow where; and how to grow it.

Course Structure:

There are eight lessons as follows:

1. Introduction and Resources
2. Culture - Soils and nutrition, pruning, planting techniques, etc.
3. Propagation - Seed, cuttings, grafting techniques for natives.
4. Important Groups Of Native Trees (excluding Eucalypts).
5. More Important Groups - Eucalypts
6. Other Varieties - Rainforest trees, native conifers.
7. Making The Best Use Of Native Trees. Landscaping, biological control,
special planting techniques.
8. Special Assignment - On one plant or group.

    100 hours

Where are Australian Native Trees Used?
There are thousands of different species of Australian trees; and ones suitable for virtually any situation you might think of.   Many are important as forestry trees, used commercially for the production of timber; others are excellent for land rehabilitation; and yet others suitable for landscaping and ornamental gardening situations.

Woodland Gardens

A traditional woodland garden is a European concept which is achieved through planting deciduous trees and an understory of shrubs, climbers, ground cover plants and seasonal bulbs all of which are able to grow in the dappled shade of the trees in summer when they are in full leaf. An actual woodland ecosystem takes many generations to develop. When applied to Australian gardens, you may have to be a little more creative when it comes to selecting Australian deciduous trees since there is far less choice.

Taller growing native deciduous trees include the Australian Red Cedar, Toona ciliata, which can reach a whopping 35m. These trees do better in large spaces and need a warm climate. Other tall trees in the 15-20m range include White Cedar (Melia azedarach) and the Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius). Low growing trees include Grevilleas e.g. Grevillea robusta, Tanglefoot Beech (Nothofagus gunnii), and some Acacias. Often these lower growing plants may only be semi-deciduous retaining some of their leaves throughout the year. 

The Australian woodland garden often has a canopy made up of a mixture of evergreen e.g. eucalypts and deciduous trees. Understory plants can include shrubs (e.g. Acacia spp., Cassinia spp., Leucopogon juniperinus, Myoporum montanum), climbers (e.g. Clematis glycinoides, Pandorea pandorana, Passiflora herbertiana) ferns (e.g. Asplenium flabellifolium, Chielanthes spp., Pellaea falcata) daisies (e.g. Brachyscome angustifolia, Euchiton spp., Rhodanthe anthemoides, Senecio quadridentatus) herbs (e.g. Alternanthera spp., Dichondra repens, Geraneum homeanum,  Hypericum gramineum, Portulaca oleracea) and grasses (e.g. Austrodanthonia spp., Chloris spp., Digitaria diffusa). 

Rainforest Gardens

The rainforest is commonly seen as one of the ultimate environments to duplicate in the garden.  It can provide a home for native animals or provide you with a quiet, pleasant place to escape to. It is easily "constructed" provided a few requirements are met to satisfy plant growth.  Protection from direct sunlight and strong wind and an abundant supply of mulch or leaf matter are three of the most important necessities for the establishment of a rainforest.  Understandably, if you already have a shaded site it makes your rainforest garden one step closer to completion.

Many people do not realise it but rainforest plants are very adaptable to the domestic block. Let us look at some of the good points of rainforest landscaping:

  • Large rainforest trees that grow to heights exceeding 20m will only grow to about half that height in sunny domestic gardens.
  • Full shade is not essential for rainforest trees as many will grow in full sun and others may require some shade while young. As a result these trees become more rounded with fuller canopies.
  • Large areas are not essential to develop a rainforest   many people have successfully developed miniature rainforests on domestic blocks.
  • Any soil can be made suitable provided a bit of extra pre planting preparation is performed. The better your soil is to begin with, the easier and quicker will be your established rainforest.
  • With adequate compost or leaf-litter, water is retained better in the soil therefore less hosing will be required.
  • There are several types of rainforests throughout Australia ranging from the tip of Queensland to the mountains of Tasmania, so no matter where you live, your climate can be assisted to produce a rainforest.
  • Many rainforest plants are extremely easy to grow, so much so, that some are used as indoor plants e.g. Castanospermum australe. The seeds of this tree are toxic, but can be eaten after thorough processing. The seeds are cracked and soaked in water, ground into meal, and made into cakes which are roasted. Washing in water removes some of the soluble toxins, while roasting destroys other toxins. Archontophoenix alexandrae is another example. Old leaves are removed leaving the growing bud with its new shoot that is eaten raw or cooked like a cabbage.