Fleming’s Nurseries, Australia’s leading tree grower and innovator, has recently released three new varieties of quality native trees.
The release of new quality Australian native trees is not an everyday occurrence in our industry which is why Fleming’s Nurseries introduction of not one, but three new varieties is exciting.
Australia’s leading tree grower and innovator, Fleming’s, have been quietly working on the introduction of superior native cultivars as part of its Research and Innovation department for almost 20 years.
The want for more consistent, uniform and reliable native trees has been unwavering in Australia for many years, particularly for the street and urban environment, we have been working toward this and believe we have achieved just that with these three new cultivars.
Eucalyptus robusta ‘Matong’, Corymbia maculata ‘Gamai’ and Corymbia citriodora ‘Warneet’are the first introductions that have proven themselves worthy of a wider release over the coming years.
Fleming’s have been working with these selections for quite some time now with trials in various situations and locations showing three quality trees that are offering a superior performance in various environments.
The best thing about these new introductions is their uniformity, reliabilityand quality. Here is Fleming’s review.
Eucalyptus robusta ‘Matong’
Already widely seen in the Victorian urban development environment Eucalyptus robusta ‘Matong’ is named for the aboriginal word meaning ‘strong’.
Fleming’s felt this was an appropriate name for this cultivar as it produces a strong central leader with excellent calliper and is naturally self-supporting. The new growth emerges a lovely deep bronze colour and matures to a deep green. Eucalyptus ‘Matong’ is formal and conical in shape, and quite dense in foliage while being far more compact in height and width, than is typical for the species. Trial plantings have demonstrated good tolerance to dry conditions, windy sites, poor soils and some tolerance of wet soils. This is an excellent choice for consideration in street tree plantings, avenues and parks and gardens.
- Foliage: Ovate. Emerge red tipped deepening to Olive Green. Hardy.
- Estimated 15H x 7W at 20 years maturity
Corymbia maculata ‘Gamai’
Fleming’s are thrilled with the introduction of Corymbia maculata ‘Gamai’ named after the aboriginal term for spear, chosen for the trees upright growing habit. Corymbia maculata ‘Gamai’ is suitable for planting in urban situations, with poor soils, dry conditions and pollution. The key feature of this cultivar is its moreupright form, which offers shade, without impeding on pedestrian or vehicle access. Consider this cultivar for streets, boulevards, and avenue plantings where lateral space is limited.
- Foliage: Lanceolate. Light lime green leaves mature to mid green.
- Estimated 12H x 4W at 20 years maturity
Corymbia citriodora ‘Warneet’
The latest release of Fleming’s exclusive native trees is Corymbia citriodora ‘Warneet’. This selection has been chosen for its excellent broad, spreading form which offers a strong straight central leader with creamy white bark. The foliage is typical of lemon scented gums and featuring a lovely clean citronella scent.
This is a larger growing cultivar ideal for use in parks, streets, avenues, boulevards where a consistent size and form is required.
- Foliage: Lanceolate. Long narrow mid green with slight red tinge in young growth.
- Estimated 10H x 8W at 20 years maturity
Each of the new releases are clonally produced, worked on their own roots, ensuring consistency and uniformity in the landscape. Fleming’s have generations of experience with clonal propagation methods, which have long been used for deciduous and fruiting trees, but has proven challenging with native trees, until now.
Wes Fleming, third generation owner and director of the 100-year-old heritage nursery is dedicated to the process and is confident their new cultivars are superior in every way.
Until relatively recently all Australian native trees were grown from seed. These seed grown trees have enormous genetic variation. This variation applies to every aspect of a tree’s growth cycle, form, features and tolerances.
“Seedling grown trees result in unpredictable long-term results and are more expensive in the long run. The beauty of these two new cultivars is they are producing quality callipers, and very uniform trees from an early age. Making their production in the nursery easier and their performance in the environment is excellent,” Wes said.
“I have been ‘playing’ with natives for a very long time now,” Wes said. “I saw the growing need for natives many years ago but as an ornamental tree grower I needed to learn about growing natives the old-fashioned way, by doing it.
“I spent many years just growing (not selling) native trees, to increase my understanding and therefore ability to grow better quality native trees. I refuse to plant or produce natives that I feel are not good quality in the industry, so I made certain that any natives we grew and sold were better than what was previously available in the market.”
“I have been doing this for well over 20 years now and I believe our growing techniques are better. We have developed a unique potting mix, we have very stringent growing techniques from very small trees right through to advanced trees with the intention to develop better calliper strength and uniformity of batches. That’s where I started.”
From there Wes and his team have been working on developing the early production techniques of trees which is why Fleming’s embarked on developing clonal techniques that would produce uniform native trees on their own roots. No need to graft the trees which has proven to have questionable success thus far.
The Matong is itself proving to be a smaller variety of Eucalyptus robusta which is an added bonus, as many Eucalyptus are just too large for the urban environment,” said Wes.
Matong and Gamai are now available to purchase with Warneet expected to officially released to the market from 2022.
For more information please contact Leanne Gillies on 03 9756 6105 or click on the links below.