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Summary of full report
Eucalypt hybrids in south-west Western Australia
By Dr E.L. Barbour
RIRDC Web only Publication No W04/021 RIRDC Project No CAL-5A
The project assessed the wood production performance of a range of Eucalypt hybrids in the southwest of Western Australia, to determine if an advantage can be gained using a Eucalypt hybrid in the low Eucalyptus globulus productivity areas. Since 1996, the Forest Products Commission (FPC) has established a range of trials across the tree planting areas in the southwest. The main focus was on E. globulus hybrids with E. grandis and E. camaldulensis, and E. grandis with E. camaldulensis, although other eucalypt hybrid material has been included.
Five of the trials were measured in 1999 and this measurement showed that E. globulus out-performed all the hybrids tested at all sites except for the low rainfall (534 mm) and high evaporation (1175 mm) site at Darkan where the E. globulus x E. grandis hybrid showed potential. Additionally, clones of E. grandis x E. camaldulensis at the Gingin site (rainfall 676 mm with evaporation rate of 1850 mm) had potential.
This project completed a further two assessments of these trials which, by the final measurement, had grown in number to ten. The assessments were made in the summer of 2000-2001 and 2002-2003, drought years in this region. Assessment of the trials showed that at the sites considered typical for E.globulus, E. globulus seedling growth was superior to that of the hybrid cuttings in a pulpwood rotation. However, at the sites that were not typical E. globulus pulpwood production sites, other hybrid material showed potential to produce a more productive tree crop. This material needs to be further tested in clonal blocks to monitor inter-tree relationships.
The discussion highlights the impact of the low rainfall conditions, parrot attack and deployment method on the performance of these trials.