Forest Friday is looking at the Water Gum – Tristaniopsis laurina.
“Knowledge is good, understanding is better”
This is a chance for us to explore the different trees we use in our permaculture designs. There is so much to understand about a tree before placing it in a system, and by giving a tree what it needs to thrive, the whole system can benefit from the many design and ecologic functions they provide. Savour Soil uses the Water Gum – Tristaniopsis laurina as a feature tree in challenging soil types with its full display of flowers and ability to thrive in poor soil, but there is so much more to this tree.
- Subtropical, temperate, Mediterranean Climates
- Native Region is SE QLD northern NSW
- Habitat is Rainforest openings and creek banks
- Propagated by seed
- Highly susceptible to displacement by exotics like privet
Needs, Tolerances + Susceptibilities:
- Like moderate rainfall
- Well drained soil but moist
- Full sun but will tolerate some shade
- Light frost is tolerated
- Pollinated by bees and insects
- Will grow in most soil types, even poor.
- Diseases it can be effected by include scale
- Can be damaged by Leaf hoppers and leaf eating beetles
Charactoristics + Behaviours:
- Compact small tree
- Trunk bends to direction of water current
- Multi branched trunk.
- Can be pruned to 1.
- Can grow between 1-15m by 3-6m
- Fast growing.
- Evergreen – older leaves turn red and shed
- Great Screen/windbreak: Excellent native replacement of Photinia hedge
- Compact shade tree
- Feature tree – native replacement of magnolia
- Street tree in Sydney Flowers in Jan and Feb. when others aren’t
- Animal food: pollen
- Spring flowers August – November
- Tough and light timber- good for tool handles and golf clubs
- Soil stabliser and erosion control along water courses
- Pest suppression
- Wildlife habitat/food for birds/ native bees and honey bees.
- Foliage is browsed by possums
What to read next?
Weeping Myrtle – Waterhousea floribunda. A deep look at this tree’s habits, needs and behaviours through to it’s design and ecological functions.
QLD Silver Wattle – Acacia podalyriifolia. A deep look at this tree’s habits, needs and behaviours through to it’s design and ecological functions.
Golden Pea – Daviesia arborea. A deep look at this tree’s habits, needs and behaviours through to it’s design and ecological functions