"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

Trees for Special Purposes: Wastewaters and Saline Land

Evolution of the Research
Hugh Stewart (bio)

In the 1970s in Victoria about 60% of Municipal Sewerage Authorities used secondary treated wastewater to irrigate pastures, sometimes grazed by livestock. At the start of the decade, extensive trials were carried out in south-east Melbourne testing the suitability of treated wastewater for irrigating agricultural and horticultural crops. In 1973 the Forests Commission Victoria started trials to test the irrigation of planted trees with wastewater. This work followed studies in the USA, pioneered by the Pennsylvania State University in the early 1960s, that indicated the benefits of using natural forests for the renovation of wastewater. The trials in Victoria were ramped up in 1977 with support from the Reclaimed Water Committee of the Ministry of Water Resources and Water Supply. (A member of the committee, John Mann, Director of Water Resources, told the Senate Committee on Natural Resources in 1977 that Victoria hoped to have the technical expertise to re-use almost all of the State’s wastewater by the end of the century.) Other field trials were conducted by the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW, at Carrum and at Werribee), and by the CSIRO.



Baker, T., Duncan, M. and Stackpole, D. (2005). Growth and silvicultural management of irrigated plantations. In Nambiar, S. and Ferguson, I. (Eds), New Forests: Wood Production and Environmental Services. CSIRO Publishing, pp. 113-134.
Baldwin, P.J. and Stewart, H.T.L. (1987). Distribution, length and weight of roots in young plantations of Eucalyptus grandis W. Hill ex Maiden irrigated with recycled water. Plant Soil 97: 243-252.
Duncan, M., Baker, T. and Wall, G. 1998. Wastewater irrigated tree plantations: productivity and sustainability. Pap. pres. at 61st Annual Water Industry Engineers and Operators’ Conference, held 2-3 September, 1988, Shepparton, Victoria.
Edgar, J.G. and Stewart, H.T.L. (1978). Trees for effluent disposal in northern Victoria. Wat. Talk 41: 11-15.
Flinn, D.W., Stewart, H.T.L. and O'Shaughnessy P.J. (1979). Screening of weedicides for overspraying Eucalyptus, Pinus and Casuarina on clay soils irrigated with treated effluent. Aust. For. 42: 215-225.
Heuperman, A.F., Stewart, H.T.L. and Wildes, R.A. (1984). The effect of eucalypts on water tables in an irrigation area of northern Victoria. Wat. Talk 52: 4-8.
Hopmans, P., Stewart, H.T.L., Flinn, D.W. and Hillman, T.J. (1990). Growth, biomass production and nutrient accumulation by seven tree species irrigated with municipal effluent at Wodonga, Australia. For. Ecol. Manage. 30: 203-211.
McKimm, R.J. (1984). Fence posts from young trees irrigated with sewage effluent. Aust. For. 47: 172-78.
Stewart, H.T.L., Flinn, D.W., Baldwin, P.J. and James, J.M. (1981). Diagnosis and correction of iron deficiency in planted eucalypts in north-west Victoria. Aust. For. Res. 11: 185-190.
Stewart, H.T.L. and Flinn, D.W. (1984). Establishment and early growth of trees irrigated with wastewater at four sites in Victoria, Australia. For. Ecol. Manage. 8: 243-256.
Stewart, H.T.L. (1985). The effects of fertilisation and wastewater irrigation on the biomass and nutrient content of Pinus radiata D. Don. MSc thesis. The University of Melbourne: Melbourne, Victoria, 169 pp.
Stewart, H.T.L. and Salmon, G.R. (1986). Irrigation of tree plantations with recycled water. 2. Some economic analyses. Aust. For. 49: 89-96.
Stewart, H.T.L., Hopmans, P., Flinn, D.W. and Hillman, T.J. (1990). Nutrient accumulation in trees and soil following irrigation with municipal effluent in Australia. Environ. Pollution 63: 155-177.


Benyon, R., Hutchinson, D., Stewart, H.T.L. and O'Shaughnessy, P.J. (1991). Establishment of eucalypt plantations irrigated with sewage at Werribee, Victoria. In 'Productivity in Perspective' (ed. P.J. Ryan), pp. 107-108. Proc. Third Aust. For. Soils and Nutrition Conf., Melbourne, 7–11 October 1991. Forests Commission: Sydney, New South Wales.
Hopmans, P., Stewart, H.T.L., Flinn, D.W. and Hillman, T.J. (1987). Growth, biomass production and nutrient uptake by seven tree species irrigated with municipal effluent at Wodonga, Australia. Pap. pres. at IUFRO meeting 'Management of Water and Nutrient Relations to Increase Forest Growth', held 19–22 October, 1987, Canberra, ACT.
Morris, J., Mann, L. and Collopy, J. (1998). Transpiration and canopy conductance in a eucalypt plantation using shallow saline groundwater. Tree Physiology 18: 547-555.
Stewart, H.T.L., Craig, F.G. and Dexter, B.D. (1979). Effluent treatment and reclamation in Victoria using tree plantations. Proc. Symposium on Wastewater Renovation Using Trees, April 1979, Albury, New South Wales. Murray Valley League: Albury, New South Wales, pp. 14-18.
Stewart, H.T.L. and Boardman, R. (1991). The potential for irrigated plantation development in Australia. In 'Integrating Forestry and Farming', Appendix B, pp. 95-140, a report of the National Plantations Advisory Committee. Department of Primary Industries and Energy: Canberra, Australia.
Stewart, H.T.L., Flinn, D.W. and Baldwin, P.J. (1982). Irrigation of tree plantations with wastewater in Victoria. 1. Site characteristics, establishment and maintenance procedures, and tree survival and growth between 1977 and 1981. Res. Branch Rep. No. 207. Forests Commission: Melbourne, Victoria, 59 pp.
Stewart, H.T.L. (1984). Field trials of trees irrigated with wastewater in Victoria. Proc. Seminar on Off-river Disposal of Treated Sewage Effluent, 11 November 1984, Wodonga, Victoria. River Murray Commission: Canberra, ACT, pp. 44-45.
Stewart, H.T.L., Allender, E., Sandell, P. and Kube, P. (1986). Irrigation of tree plantations with recycled water. 1. Research developments and case studies. Aust. For. 49: 81-88.
Stewart, H.T.L., Hopmans, P., Flinn, D.W., Hillman, T.J. and Collopy, J. (1988). Evaluation of irrigated tree crops for land disposal of municipal effluent at Wodonga. Tech. Rep. No. 7. Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation: Wodonga, Victoria, 28 pp.
Stewart, H.T.L. (1988). A review of irrigated forestry with Australian native species. Proc. The International Forestry Conference for the Australian Bi-centenary, 25 April to 1 May 1988, Albury, New South Wales. Australian Forest Development Institute: Canberra, ACT, Vol. II of V, 18 pp.
Stewart, H.T.L. (1990). Guidelines for establishment of eucalypt woodlots on irrigated land. Proc. Woodlots Workshop, 10-11 April 1990, Mildura, Victoria. Dept. Agriculture and Rural Affairs: Mildura, Victoria, pp 38-42.