Eucalyptus longirostrata (Blakely) Johnson and Hill is commonly known as Grey Gum (Brooker and Kleinig, 1994). Although newly introduced to South Africa, it has shown the potential to become an important species for commercial plantations (Gardner, 2001; Snedden et al., 2007).
Native to Australia, E. longirostrata is widespread in south-eastern Queensland, the Expedition Range, and the Blackdown Tableland (Brooker and Kleinig, 1994). E. longirostrata grows on a range of sites on low hills and ridges in shallow soils of sandstone origin (Boland et al., 2006). The natural distribution of E. longirostrata is shown in Figure 1.6.
Figure 1.6 The natural distribution of Eucalyptus longirostrata in Australia (from Brooker and Kleinig, 1994)
E. longirostrata is a medium-sized tree with bark shedding to ground level, with a granular and mottled surface (Brooker and Kleinig, 1994) (Figure 1.7).
Figure 1.7 Eucalyptus longirostrata progeny trial in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
In South African trials, unimproved E. longirostrata has compared favourably with commercial hybrid clones for growth yield, pulp yield and ‘pulp ability’ (Gardner, 2001).In addition, its high density and reported high disease resistance (Gardner et al., 2007) make it a suitable hybrid partner candidate (Snedden et al., 2007).
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