How We Grow
Our test site is situated in Central Victoria (elevation 500m) in a high wind and moderate rainfall location on granite based soils. Average rainfall is around 700mm p.a., but El Nino drought years record around 400mm. Indeed, the granitic sands dry out very fast in late spring, so trees need to be well established to survive. There are between 10-50 frost per year. Maximum temperatures of the high 30s C are common in summer although night time temperatures fall away reliably.
Trees are raised in air-prune pots, which encourage root development and eliminate root coiling and muckling. No root pruning is required. Those species of the rosacea family such as ornamental pears are often grown in planter bags and respond well to root pruning when planted out. Similarly, before re-potting the roots of smaller stock are pruned to eliminate matting and to promote lateral spread and taproot growth.
Finally, branches are pruned to select a strong central leader and correct branch abnormalities or defects like co-dominant leaders and weak branch angles.
About Woodland Trees and Landscapes
Woodland Trees and Landscapes specialises in oaks and species dating back to Gondwanan times, deciduous stock suitable for landscaping, and taxa appropriate for southern Australian farms. Southern beeches are of particular interest, and we grow several of these species, including nothofagus alpina, a deciduous tree from Chile with high landscape values. A number of conifers of ancient origin from both the northern and southern hemispheres are also grown including coast redwood, dawn cedar, hoop pine, monkey puzzle and both podocarpus henkelli and afrocarpus falcatus from South Africa.
Trees are chosen which have proven success in Central Victorian on a range of soils and altitudes. For example, coast redwood and deodar cedar have grown well on basalts and alluvial clays in the region over the past one and a half centuries, while nothofagus obliqua (roble beech) has excelled in montane climates such as the Trentham district.
In the future the farm intends to grow a wide range of oaks in 20cm (11 Litre) air-prune pots, which will be selected for landscape quality and characteristics useful on farms, such as timber quality, drought hardiness, fire resistance, fire protection, longevity, carbon sequestration, shade and acorn forage. Trees as green firebreaks, or fire retardant copses planted to protect homes and assets, is another area the business seeks to investigate, trial and sell.