Prof David Ellsworth, Dr Renée Prokopavicius, Dr Alessandro Ossola, WPW’s Project Manager Leigh Staas and PhD candidate Diana Backes visited Speciality Trees, Fleming’s Nurseries and Humphris Nursery in the greater Melbourne area last week.
Their visit aimed to better understand which horticultural practices are currently used for the production and supply of plants and how these can affect plant growth, tolerance to drought and heat, as well as post-planting success.
The information gained will serve to inform future steps of the WPW Project in relation to future experiments and plant screening programs.
Figure 1 - Speciality Trees
Figure 2 - Fleming's Nurseries
Figure 3 - Humphris Nursery
Figure 4 - Speciality Trees
The team from Macquarie and Western Sydney University was impressed by the knowledge and passion for plants of each nurserywoman and nurseryman. The visits culminated with the Tree and Shrub Growers: Speciality Trees Beyond 40 Years event, co-hosted by Speciality Trees and Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria Tree and Shrub Growers.
While the evening celebrated Speciality Trees 40 years of operation, it also encouraged members to understand and address how climate change will influence the next 40 years, presented through talks by the Agriculture Program at the Melbourne Bureau of Meteorology and the WPW team.
This was a precious opportunity to engage with the numerous professionals working across the industry and gain critical information to steer future research efforts within the WPW Project. We would like to thank Hamish Mitchell (Speciality Trees), Leanne Gillings (Fleming’s Nursery), and Humphris Nursery for their time in showing us around their sites and informing us about their practices.
Words by Dr Alessandro Ossola and Leigh Staas.