Pruning In Tropical Australia

Today I had a bit of a change at work. I went out into the garden to do some pruning. As my career has progressed my work has changed a lot. I used to do mostly arboricultural work but now I’m always in the nursery. I really enjoy my job but It’s worth keeping a hand in at other skills.
I worked with Dennis (gardener) in the Tropical Australia section of the garden. This section contains a number of Eucalyptus species. They are beautiful trees but suffer in the winter. We spent most of the morning pruning out deadwood. We used extendable manual tools, they aren’t as precise as a chainsaw but we took our time and left a neat job. I think this section will be really special in a year or so, Dennis has been putting a huge amount of work into it. Some photos of the pruning below.

At the garden we have two types of lopper available to us. They are known as Anvil or Bypass. I want to talk briefly about the differences between them. If using loppers, I always use bypass. This is because the cut is much cleaner. As the names imply a bypass blade passes the cutting plate whilst the anvil presses against it. The the anvil loppers therefore crush the branches, leaving unclean cuts. 
Below are pictures of the two lopper types, bypass first anvil second. Neither are very sharp which is disappointing.

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Agathis robusta, Softwood CuttingsĀ 

Conifers can be difficult to propagate vegetatively. Even if they root freely, it tends to take a while. In the glasshouse there is an old specimen of Agathis robusta, but it’s in poor condition. The trees main stem was cut down to around 40cm, the plant is just a stump with some young shoots.
This plant is unlikely to form a new leader and grow into a strong tree. Because of this it would be good to propagate it. The fresh growth lends itself well to cuttings, so today some were taken. All the cuttings are tips for maximum rooting potential. Cuttings are four nodes long, dipped in rooting hormone, potted nine per 11cm pot. Photos below.


Agathis robusta is a large (50m) evergreen conifer. Agathis is a genus in the Auricariaceae family, British readers will know Araucaria araucana (monkey puzzle tree) as it is a commonly cultivated family member. A. robusta grows in Queensland and has two known populations, its uncommon in cultivation. Hopefully the cuttings take as this is a great species to have. Probably more use in the Tropical Australia section than the glasshouse though. A full sized tree below.


Not my image, link to creator.