Evaluation of nursery tree stock balance parameters (NY15001)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? Ensuring out-planted nursery trees have a high potential survival rate requires a balanced root and shoot system prior to dispatch. This project is investigating how species differences and climatic conditions in different production regions can affect this balance in tree stock.
By bringing together existing knowledge on root to shoot balance and quantifying this balance in tree stock across the country, the project aims to develop metrics for the industry to use in assessing the quality of tree stock for landscape planting. It is anticipated that the tree stock balance data will also be used to inform a revision of the current Australian Standard for tree stock for landscape use.
What’s the latest update? Research trials to quantify root to shoot balance of nursery tree stock are well underway, with over 6000 trees so far measured across eight production nurseries in New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory.
From the preliminary findings, the researchers note a need for greater field-based evidence to determine the relationship between a tree’s size index and its container volume.
They note that the current Australian Standard specifies a range of size index values for tree stock in different container volumes at dispatch in order to quantify above and below-ground balance of advanced tree stock for landscape use. The project’s current findings suggest the specified size index likely does not encompass the inherent variation within and among tree stock across Australian production nurseries.
A draft review of scientific and trade literature around root to shoot balance has also been completed.
Presentations, fact sheets and other information related to this project are available here.
Measuring nursery stock as part of root to shoot balance work (above and below)
202020 Vision: Goods Line monitoring and evaluation research (NY13024)
Status: Completed project
What was it all about? The Goods Line is an old Sydney railway line that has been redeveloped as a social and interactive area with strong green-space components. This project sought to showcase the benefits of ‘urban greening’ by exploring the social and environmental benefits emerging from the redevelopment – and the extent to which they were related specifically to the increase in green space.
Some key findings:
- Visitors to the Goods Line had a strong affinity for green space, with green space being the most commonly mentioned attribute of the site that they liked.
- The research highlighted the importance of not only providing green space, but also the amenities necessary to support public enjoyment of the space, such as a range of seating, tables, and other facilities.
- Stormwater runoff modelling showed that the redevelopment contributed to an almost 10 per cent decrease in runoff rates.
- An air-quality study found no significant impact on air quality attributable to the redevelopment, though it may have contributed to mitigation of some pollutant concentrations on hot days.
Full details can be found in the project’s final report, which is available to order at http://horticulture.com.au/about/resources-publications-final-reports (final reports are free to Australian horticulture levy payers, registered Hort Innovation members and industry representative bodies).
The north section of the Goods Line before and after its redevelopment
Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry (NY15002)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? Beginning early in 2016, this project aims to enhance the biosecurity preparedness of the Australian nursery industry. It builds on earlier project Plant health, biosecurity, risk management and capacity building for the nursery industry (NY11001) and will develop new contingency plans, produce new and updated information, and deliver a pest identification tool to make diagnostic identifications more financially viable for production nurseries.
What’s the latest update? No new milestone report was due in the period since the last edition of Hortlink (Winter 2016). At the time of last reporting:
- 88 diagnostic samples from production nurseries had been received from five states and were being analysed.
- Information documents were being developed, including fact sheets on aphids, galling insects, gummy stem blight and Dutch elm disease, as well as pest management plans for thrips and scale insects.
- A program of workshops was also being rolled out.
National nursery industry biosecurity program (NY15004)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? This project is aims to ensure production nurseries in Australia are aware of and prepared for incursions of exotic plant pests, and that they have effective market access mechanisms in place to maintain business functionality.
Kicking off in February this year, a key part of the project is the development of an industry on-farm biosecurity program (BioSecure HACCP) to underpin national market access with electronic certification.
What’s the latest update? No new milestone report was due in the period since the last edition of Hortlink (Winter 2016). At the time of last reporting the project had completed a transitional phase, taking the national/state managed on-farm biosecurity program and transforming the system into a wholly nationally governed and administered program.
- Key resources had been updated to accommodate the new system, with NIASA/BioSecure HACCP accredited growers contacted and advised of changes, and surveyed to assess interest in project participation.
- The program had received official notification from the national Plant Health Committee of its support of BioSecure HACCP as a national market access program.
- A pesticide list under the minor use program had been developed, with five pesticides nominated for permit applications in 2016 (two insecticides, two fungicides and one nematicide).
Communication program for the Australian nursery industry 2015-18 (NY15006)
Status: Ongoing project
What’s it all about? The industry’s communication program ensures Australian nursery and garden growers and other industry stakeholders are kept up-to-date with the latest news, information and R&D and marketing updates to support decision-making within businesses.
What’s the latest update? A number of regular communication channels continue to be produced and maintained by this project, including but not limited to:
- Regular Nursery Papers looking at current industry projects, with the design of the publications now re-vamped for greater readability (with issues available here)
- The Your Levy @ Work newsletter
- The Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) website and the Your Levy @ Work website
- NGIA social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Media releases, the production of case studies for peer-to-peer learning and video content also form part of the communication program.
The October edition of Nursery Papers
Other R&D projects of note…
» 202020 Vision Training/Capacity Building Program (NY16002), a new project to drive awareness of and engagement with the 202020 Vision through national and regional workshops and regular updates provided to growers.
» Nursery industry statistics and research 2016/17 (NY16004), for which a service provider is currently being appointed to build on existing nursery data.
» Where should all the trees go? An investigation of the impact of tree canopy cover on socio-economic status and wellbeing in LGAs (NY16005), for which a service provider is currently appointed. This project will measure tree canopy cover and its impact on socio-economic status and wellbeing in local government areas, and support the nursery industry to achieve the goals of the 202020 Vision marketing campaign.