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TreeProject - Ask the Expert Blog

Allocasuarina verticillata

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I am hoping you can answer this query...



As is known the Allocasuarina verticillata has male and female trees.



I am wanting to know how to ID between the two at the very small seedling stage, say 5 weeks after germination and then about 3 months from germination.

 With increasing awareness of the quantity of this species being grown by volunteer growers through Tree Project, I wonder whether it is possibly to make choices to influence a mix of both male and female seedling trees being distributed to the landholder properties. 

It would be ideal to understand this to pass the info onto the growers at the thinning out stage, which for the first distribution growers is almost now and second distribution growers about 6 - 8 weeks away.



Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Wilma 

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It is virtually impossible to differentiate between male and female Allocasuarina until they flower. Females have cloudy yellow/lemon clusters while males have a redder appearance.

It would not be necessary to divide them up or you will alter the natural growth pattern of a planting. There is no requirement for there to be more females to males or vice versa.

Pollution occurs over many months Autumn - Spring. Females open first, allowing cross-pollination from other stands of plants in surrounding areas to maintain diversity.

Males will open some weeks later and pollinate the exiting planting as well as spreading far and wide preventing in-breeding. 

Corangamite seed supply have done quite a lot of research about Allocausarina so maybe they can help.
 
Good Luck,

Wendy

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