Research Branch Report No. 53

Genetic variation in Eucalyptus obliqua with special reference to Otway messmate.  L.A. Pederick.  August 1974.  17 pp.  (unpubl.)

  1. Trials with Otway messmate suggest that it is a highly productive provenance suitable for use over a wide range or sites.
    • At Macedon after 17 years Otway messmate has grown more than twice as fast as trees of a local seed origin.
    • At Creswick after 13 years Otway messmate has grown much faster than 6 other provenances and as fast as trees from a Powelltown seed source.
    • Otway messmate grew well at Macedon and Creswick on sites greatly inferior (lower rainfall, heavier soils) to those of the Otway Ranges.
  1. The morphological characteristics of Otway messmate trees in the trials were consistent with reports that the provenance is of hybrid origin between obliqua and E.regnans.
  1. Normal messmate from Lavers Hill in the Otway ranges also appears to be of high inherent vigour. Powelltown (Pioneer Creek) is another vigorous provenance of good form, but other Victorian provenances such as from Mt. Cole, Daylesford and Broadford (Strath Creek Block) are less vigorous.
  1. At Macedon and Creswick, inherent vigour of local provenances appears low and increased productivity could be obtained by planting with a number of other provenances.
  1. It appears from the trials that a number of Tasmanian provenances will be superior to many Victorian provenances on the sites studied.
  1. Messmate from western Victoria was quite unsuitable for forest plantation purposes on the trial sites due to poor form and slow growth.
  1. There is increasing evidence that the provenances with the highest inherent capacity for growth are those from the best quality sites.