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Course CodeVHT117
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


Become an expert with identification and culture of Eucalypts

This is an excellent introduction to the genus Eucalyptus, covering identification, culture (propagation, soils, landscape uses, feeding), and uses. Throughout the course you build both a knowledge of the group as a whole, and of the range of species you can identify

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Scope and Nature of Eucalypts
    • Taxonomy; Review of the system of plant identification
    • General characteristics of the Myrtaceae Family
    • Subdivisions of the genus Eucalyptus
    • Popular subdivision into gums, box, stringybark, messmate, mallees, etc
    • Hybrid Eucalypts
    • History of Eucalypt taxonomy; botanical renaming and Corymbia
    • Plant Name Pronunciation
    • Eucalypt Flower Structure; inflorescence, flowers
    • Eucalypt leaf structure
    • Resources and further Information; nurseries, seed, herbaria, etc.
  2. Culture
    • Soils and Soil Structure
    • Soil Chemistry
    • Nutrition
    • Fertilizers
    • Summary of Eucalypt characteristics and culture
    • Planting technique
    • Tree Guards
    • Pest & disease that are commonly found on Eucalypts
    • Watering
    • Weed Control
    • Soil Testing
  3. Propagation
    • Scope and nature of Eucalypt Propagation
    • Treatment of Seed during Germination
    • Substrates for starting seed
    • Transplanting Seedlings
    • Potting up
  4. Commonly grown Varieties of Eucalypts
    • Scope and Nature of Eucalypt Culture in Australia and elsewhere around the World
    • Review of many commonly cultivated Eucalyptus and Corymbia species
  5. Other important groups.
    • Introduction
    • Hybrid Eucalypts
    • Why Breed Eucalypts
    • Review of Mallee Eucalypts
    • Review of Gums
  6. Lesser grown varieties.
    • Boxes
    • Bloodwoods
    • Peppermints
    • Strigybarks
    • Ironbarks
  7. Making the best use of Eucalypts
    • Introduction
    • Timber Production
    • Oil Production
    • Where to Plant Eucalypts; amenity trees, natural and bush gardens, xeriscapes
    • Agroforestry
    • Techniques for Planting on SlopesPlanting on Arid Sites
    • Growing in Dry Areas; overcoming dry conditions, sandy soils
    • Eucalypts and Fire Management
    • Windbreak Planting
    • Plant Selection
    • Understanding Plant Interelationships
  8. Special Assignment
    • Problem Based Learning Project
    • Plan the establishment of a collection of different cultivars of Eucalypts
    • eg. Gums, Mallees, Tall Trees, Short Trees, or Dryland Species, suited to growing in a specified locality.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Describe the classification of Eucalypts.
  • Discuss general cultural requirements for growing Eucalypts.
  • Propagate Eucalypts.
  • Differentiate between identifiable characteristics and cultural requirements in a number of commonly cultivated Eucalypts.
  • Discuss characteristics of a wider range of Eucalypt species.
  • Describe commercial uses for a range of different Eucalyptus species.
  • Plan the establishment of a collection of different cultivars of Eucalypts (eg. Gums, Mallees, Tall Trees, Short Trees, Dryland Species), suited to growing in a specified locality.

What are Eucalypts?

Eucalypts were only really discovered and named in the late 1700's when Europeans settled in Australia.
Not long after first settlement; botanists decided to separate out one group of these plants (ie. Angophora) into a separate genus. This was because the flowers were obviously very different to all other Eucalypts.
In more recent times; many of the "experts" have separated "blood woods" apart from the other Eucalypts, creating a further genus, called "Corymbia". A smaller number (the Ghost Gums) are also separated by some into a further genus called "Blakella"
Many people who grow eucalypts don't use these different names but many others do. If this sounds confusing; it is -and perhaps that is one of many reasons why you might do this course.
The following generic names are therefore all used for eucalypts: Angophora, Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Blakella.
Some of the characteristics that differentiate these different groups include:
  • Eucalyptus and Corymbia have alternate adult leaves; while the adult leaves of Angophora are arranged opposite on the stems)
  • Eucalyptus and Corymbia flowers have a cap (operculum) which falls off as the flowers open, but Angophora flowers have no cap.
  • Angophora and Corymbia flowers occur in "corymbs". This is a structure where flower stalks develop from different levels on the stem, but once fully open, all flowers occur on the same plane (more or less) 

Meet some of our academics

Rosemary Davies Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.

Check out our eBooks

Landscaping with Australian PlantsLandscaping with Australian Plants gives you a new perspective on how to use Australian Plants when designing a garden. This ebook is perfect for gardening students, landscapers and keen gardeners.
Trees and ShrubsA great little encyclopaedia that is valuable for students, tradespeople, or the home gardener needing a quick reference when selecting garden plants. It covers the care and culture of 140 commonly grown genera of trees and shrub, plus many hundreds of species and cultivars. 169 colour photos 94 pages
Trees & Shrubs for Small GardensGet it right the first time - choose plants for small places that will enhance property values, and that won’t become a costly nightmare later! This invaluable book covers trees for small gardens, balconies, verandas or courtyards; 46 genera of small trees, 80 shrub genera and hundreds of species. 74 pages, over 150 colour photos
Growing and Knowing Eucalyptsby John Mason and staff of ACS Over 200 photos, over 200 pages.