BRAIN's involvement in STREET TREE TRIALS -AVENUES OF INTEREST

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Shealagh Walker

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Apr 25, 2020, 2:46:30 AM4/25/20
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Hi BRAINiacs

 

Some of you may remember back in 2000 when Fred suggested BRAIN ask council to use tree species local to the area on the upgrade of Waterworks Road which leads up to Mount Glorious.  Inspired, some members of BRAIN drew up a schedule drawn from suggestions from the wider BRAIN membership. It listed 100 tree species with their needs and attributes  and was quite an opus with the huge amount of excellent knowledge and experience that went into it.

 

One of the reasons to use local native tree species for Brisbane street trees instead of exotic ones such as Jacaranda, Leopard trees etc., was that these may become weeds, some have. But this was not the only reason, the main one was to keep the character of Brisbane and to use trees adapted for the local climate and soils which would support local wildlife.

 

BRAIN worked with Maureen See of Brisbane City Council who started trials. Full of enthusiasm, BRAIN submitted the schedule to council.

 

We were very disappointed to be told after a while that we were too late, plans were in place and could not be changed…

 

However, many months later we were amazed to see that local native tree species had indeed been used when the street trees went in along Waterworks Road towards the end of the upgrade!

 

The council report is at the link below. Maureen conducted a study of a selection of BRAIN’s suggested trees species, plus some others, and council did some trials. The results are in the report :

 

STREET TREE TRIALS –AVENUES OF INTEREST

Maureen See Environment and Parks Branch, Brisbane City Council.

 

https://treenet.org/resources/street-tree-trials-avenues-of-interest/

 

It makes interesting reading.

 

Unfortunately there are still many non-local native trees being used as street trees in Brisbane and some ‘natives’ that actually come from far away parts of Australia. Some of these have  the potential to become weedy like Cadaghi has and are just as out of place as exotic species and may or may not support local wildlife as well as local native trees.

 

I was actually looking up what insect makes those webby nests in Rhodosphaera rhodanthema, didn’t find anything, does any one know?

 

Regards

 

Shealagh Walker

BRAINiac

 

Prue Gibbs

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Apr 25, 2020, 4:15:45 AM4/25/20
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Hi, Shealagh,
What a wonderful thing! I wasn't a member of BRAIN back then. 
The Council planted a lot of Flindersia bennettiana in Dutton Park back in 2013, so they must have got a big tick. We have 2 beaut Dissiliaria at the creek at SOWN. They flowered and fruited last season.
Cheers, Prue

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John Moss

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Apr 25, 2020, 6:42:01 PM4/25/20
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Hi Shealagh

I have often noticed the untidy weblike nests in the terminal branchlets of Rhodosphaera and exotic pepper tree Schinus terebenthifolia or S. molle. They are undoubtedly made by gregarious small moth larvae, possibly in the Crambidae or Pyralidae. As these plants are in the Anacardiaceae it is also possible that the moth is Penicillaria jocosatrix, the noctuid that damages the young shoots and flowers of mangoes.

I have a "mothy" friend who may be able to look into this as there is a large R. rhodanthema in his neighbour's garden.

Cheers,
John Moss

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marie.hollingworth

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Apr 25, 2020, 9:27:27 PM4/25/20
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Hi Shealagh 
Thanks for passing on that information.  Apart from finding out the interesting process for evaluating trees for street planting,  it will be a valuable resource for finding out how trees under consideration for bushcare would perform.

All the best,
Marie Hollingworth

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Marina Novak

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Apr 26, 2020, 3:57:33 AM4/26/20
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Hi Shealagh

Thanks for starting this interesting discussion. We have grown several Rhodosphaeras at our place, the first being planted by David Somerville about twenty years ago. They were slow growing at first but then after a year or two hit their strides and have been the most successful species we have planted here on our poor Bunya soils. We really don't have topsoils, it's mostly shale and clay with a bit of quartz for good measure. The first trees planted are now about 8-10 metres. The webby nests do disfigure the trees for a short while but don't stunt the growth. 

The upper verandah of our house is two storey house looks out into the canopy of the trees. Working from home over the last few weeks I have peered out and often noticed large colourful wasps flying about the webby nests in the end of the branches. Are they the culprits or predators? Here is a another possibility in a photo from today. Not sure if this is a nest owner or just a lurker. But at least there's a close-up of the nest.

Kind regards

Marina Novak
Convenor, BRAIN

On Sat, 25 Apr 2020 at 16:46, Shealagh Walker <shea...@bigpond.com> wrote:
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Rhodosphaera bug (3).JPG

John Moss

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Apr 26, 2020, 4:08:39 AM4/26/20
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Hi Marina

Your colourful wasps sound like predators probably looking for juicy fat caterpillars with which to feed their own larvae.
The large dark grey insect is an hemipterid (species of sucking bug) and probably just a passer by! However some species do attack other insects, especially caterpillars which they suck dry!!

John.

Shealagh Walker

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Apr 26, 2020, 6:30:37 PM4/26/20
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Hi Marina

 

It looks like a type of Assassin bug to me. What is the long white blob at the bottom of your photo, is it a caterpillar? I am told all those black little dots are droppings.

 

Shealagh

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