It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method


£325.00 Payment plans available.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!
Please note that if you choose the 'e-learning' (course on USB) method, be aware that due to current covid-19 restrictions there are some countries we can not send USB sticks to.

We recommend you choose the online learning method as all online courses provide access to download course notes to access offline or print. If you do require your course to be supplied on USB stick then please contact us first to check availability for your country.

Trees For Rehabilitation (Reafforestation)

Course CodeBHT205
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to Use Trees for Land Rehabilitation

Would you like to work in a field that helps the environment? Environmental rehabilitation of degraded landscapes and contaminated sites is an important and growing field.

This course covers the fundamentals required to start or advance your career.

The significance of caring for the environment has been receiving more and more attention in recent times as we come to understand the importance of limited resources and the effects of human activities on the environment. The desertification, erosion and general degradation of once fertile lands is prompting us to investigate why and how these processes have occurred. It has also lead to research into how we can reverse and stop further damage to our environment.

Natural forests are amongst the most stable and productive ecosystems. We need to plant and conserve forests for their conservation value, to help maintain healthy air, soil and water and for their potential to provide food, forage, fuel, timber and even medicines.

This course is designed for people working or wanting to work with environmental rehabilitation and contaminated sites recovery. It develops an understanding of environmental systems and the rehabilitation of degraded landscapes. You will learn about seed collection, storage and germination, propagation, plant selection, establishment techniques, and controlling pest and disease after planting.



There are ten lessons are as follows...

1.  Approaches To Land Rehabilitation: The Importance of Trees, Understanding Plants, Plant Identification, Land Management Programs, Soil Degradation, Biodiversity, Salinity, Erosion, Soil Compaction and Acidification, Land Rehabilitation.

2.  Ecology Of Soils And Plant Health: The Ecosystem, Biomass, Web of Life, Indigenous Species, Creating Habitat for Wildlife through Corridors, Design Considerations, Edge Effects, Soil Characteristics (physical and chemical), Improving Soils, Plant Nutrition, Nutrient Elements, Diagnosing Nutritional Problems, Pests and Diseases.

3.  Introduction To Seed Propagation Techniques: Seed Propagation, Germinating Difficult Seeds, Sowing Seeds, Propagation Containers, Tube Seedlings, Production Systems, Sources of Seed and Seed Germination Resources.

4.  Propagation And Nursery Stock: Asexual Production, Cutting Types, Stock Plants, Root Cuttings, Hormone Treatment, Nursery Hygiene, Propagation Mixes, Potting Media, Maintaining Plants in Pots, Using a Greenhouse, Irrigation Systems, Propagating Different Species.

5.  Dealing With Chemical Problems: Soil Contamination, Symptoms of Chemical Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Growing Plants on Contaminated Soil, Building Site Rehabilitation, Chemical Composition of Soils.

6.  Physical Plant Effects On Degraded Sites: Pioneer Plants, Site Protection, Designing and Planting a Firebreak, Arranging Plants, Fire Resistant Plants, Stormwater, Waterlogging and Drainage.

7.  Plant Establishment Programs: What to Plant Where, Climate, Criteria for Plant Selection, Planting and Plant Protection Methods.

8.  Hostile Environments: Planning, Rehabilitation Techniques, Mulching, Weed Management and Trees and Shrubs that are Salt Tolerant.

9.  Plant Establishment Care: Planting Procedures, Water and Plant Growth, Plant Health, Inspecting a Plant, Inspecting the Immediate Environment, Methods, Prioritising Problems.

10. Rehabilitating Degraded Sites: Environmental Assessments and Audits, Implementing a Land Rehabilitation Management Program and Replanting.


  • Compare different approaches to land rehabilitation, to determine strengths and weaknesses of alternative options on a site to be rehabilitated.
  • Determine techniques to maximise plant development in land rehabilitation situations.
  • Explain the different ways of producing seedling trees for land rehabilitation purposes.
  • Determine appropriate plant establishment programs.
  • Develop procedures to care for plants, during establishment in an hostile environment.
  • Manage the rehabilitation of degraded soil.
  • Explain the effect of plants on improving a degraded site, both physically and chemically.

What You Will Do

  • Determine ten different examples of land degradation on sites visited by you.
  • Explain different reasons for land requiring rehabilitation, including:
    • Salination
    • Erosion
    • Mining
    • Grazing
    • Vegetation harvesting
    • Pests
    • Reduction of biodiversity
    • Soil contamination
    • Urbanisation.
  • Compare the effectiveness of different policy approaches to land rehabilitation by different agencies and organisation, including:
    • Different levels of government
    • Mining companies
    • Developers
    • Conservation groups (i.e. tree planting bodies, landcare groups).
  • Develop a risk analysis for a specified site to be rehabilitated, by determining a variety of plant health problems which may impact on the success of plant establishment.
  • Analyse the failure of plants to grow successfully on a visited land rehabilitation site.
  • Develop a procedure to enhance the success rate of land rehabilitation plantings on a degraded site visited by you.
  • Describe the use of mulches, to maximise plant condition in a specified land rehabilitation tree planting project.
  • Explain different processes of establishing seedlings on land rehabilitation sites, including:
    • tubestock nursery production
    • direct seeding
    • pre-germinated bare rooted seedlings.
  • Determine factors which affect the viability of establishing five different species of plant seedlings, from five different plant families; on a specific degraded site.
  • Compare the benefits of acquiring plants for a project by buying tubestock, with propagating and growing on, or close to, the planting site, with reference to:
    • costs
    • plant quality
    • local suitability
    • management.
  • Prepare production schedules for a plant species, using different propagation techniques, summarising all important tasks from collection of seed to planting out of the tubestock.
  • Calculate the cost of production for a tubestock plant, according to the production schedule developed by you.
  • Estimate the differences in per plant establishment costs, for tubestock, compared with direct seeding methods, for planting on a degraded site.
  • Describe three different methods of planting trees for rehabilitation purposes.
  • Describe different plant establishment techniques, including:
    • wind protection
    • frost protection
    • pest control
    • water management
    • weed management.
  • Describe an appropriate method for preparing soil for planting, at a proposed land rehabilitation site in your locality.
  • Evaluate plant establishment techniques used by two different land rehabilitation programs inspected by you at least twelve months after planting was carried out.
  • Determine the needs of plants after planting, on two different proposed land rehabilitation sites.
  • Describe two different, efficient ways, of catering to the needs of large numbers of plants after planting.
  • Collect pressed specimens or photographs of twenty trees for a herbarium of suitable trees for rehabilitation, and including information on the culture and care of each tree.
  • Describe different types of soil degradation, detected in your locality.
  • Determine the risk factors involved in soil degradation, relevant to your locality.
  • Compare two different alternative methods of treating each of three different soil degradation problems identified and inspected by you.
  • Develop an assessment form to use for evaluating the sensitivity of a site to land degradation.
  • Evaluate a site showing signs of degradation, selected by you, using the assessment form you developed.
  • Plan a rehabilitation program for the degraded site you evaluated, including
    • a two year schedule of work to be completed
    • list of quantity and type of materials required
    • approximate cost estimates.
  • Explain the effect six different plant species may have resisting soil degradation.
  • Explain how different plants can have different impacts upon the chemistry of their environment, including both air and soil.
  • Evaluate the significance of a group of plants, to the nature of the microclimate in which you find them growing.
  • Compare the appropriateness of twenty different plant species for different degraded sites.
  • Determine five plant varieties, suited to each of six different degradation situations.

Plant Legumes to Build Up Soil Nitrogen

Examples include:

ACACIA (Wattle)      Family (Mimosaceae)

Approximately 800 species. from a wide range of climates. You can find a wattle to suit almost any climate or situation. There are small shrubby wattles, low growing or prostrate types suitable as groundcovers or to spill over a drop, spreading bushy shrubs, upright narrow shrubs or small trees and more. Most have very attractive golden or bright yellow flowers.

Leaves either bipinnate or leaf-like structures (called phyllodes) which resemble simple leaves (but are actually expanded petioles). Flowers are usually yellow in small balls or cylinders, and prolific.

Acacias generally adapt well to low fertility soils, but very good drainage is important. Most species are fairly tolerant of dry conditions. Most are very quick growing. Seedlings may be planted out when they are about 15cm tall. Most seedlings will flower in the first or second year. Fertilise lightly with blood and bone when planting and water in. Mulch is beneficial, particularly in drier areas. Protection from grazing using tree guards may be necessary. Tip pruning after flowering helps maintain bushy growth. As a fast growing plant, it might need hard pruning if the shape becomes straggly, particularly in shadier sites. Regular light pruning may extend the lifespan of some Acacias considerably. Some species are frost sensitive when young. Most Acacia species, with the exception of a few of the taller species are short lived.

Acacias are legumes fixing nitrogen into the soil that benefits other heavy feeders. Flowers attract bees and birds. They are excellent, quick growing pioneer plants, for disturbed or degraded areas, providing protection for slower growing, or less hardy species, then usually dying or thinning out once the other species are established. Some acacia species (e.g. A. baileyana, A. longifolia) have become extensively naturalised in areas outside of their natural range, and, have the potential to become environmental weeds.

Propagated from seed treated by immersion in water that has just been boiled, and left to stand overnight or for at least 12 hours. Fertile seeds will begin to swell and may be used immediately, the others can be treated again. Seeds may also be scarified to hasten germination. Use of smoke water has had good results. Cutting are generally difficult for Acacias, although species with short phyllodes propagate fairly well from cuttings.

Pests include Borers and Gall Wasps. Diseases are rare and normally not serious, although rust galls are relatively common. Cut out and burn affected parts.

Even though some wattles are large trees, and others small shrubs, many are small trees, suitable for small gardens. Some examples are:

Acacia acuminata (Jamwood wattle) : 3-6m tall, avoid lime soils, tolerates wet soil, weeping branches, narrow leaves rich yellow flowers in late winter. Slow growing.

A. adunca (Wallangarra wattle) To 6m tall x 2 – 2.5m wide. Long narrow phyllodes,
often drooping.

A. aneura (Mulga) to 6-7m tall. Attractive, greyish, generally narrow phyllodes to 8cm
long, and yellow rod-like flowers mainly in spring. Prefers full sun, and dry conditions.

A. baileyana (Cootamundra wattle) Highly desirable small dense tree 5-8m with silver-
grey foliage and a profusion of golden yellow blooms in winter-spring.

A. deanei Small tree of 5m with long racemes of pale yellow flowers in May to March.

A. fimbriata (Brisbane fringe wattle) Small bushy shrub/tree 3-6m with small pale yellow
flowers. Phyllodes have a delicate fringe on their edges.

A. floribunda (White sallow wattle) Sometimes dense small tree to 6m with long
phyllodes and rod-like fragrant pale yellow flowers.

A. longifolia (Sallow wattle) Very fast growing, spreading small tree to 5-8m with long bright green phyllodes and bright yellow blossoms.

A. podalyriifolia (Mount Morgan /Qld silver wattle) Quick growing highly attractive small
tree to 5m with silver grey foliage and fragrant bright golden yellow blooms.

A. pycnantha (Golden wattle) Popular small pendulous tree 5-8m and highly attractive
globular scented golden yellow blooms.

A. saligna (Golden wreath wattle) Fast growing small tree 6- 8m with semi-pendulent
branches and slightly curved phyllodes. Globular bright golden yellow flowers in axillary racemes.

A. spectabilis (Mudgee wattle) Highly attractive small tree to 5m with stunning flowers in
winter and spring. Slightly weeping habit. Needs excellent drainage.

Albizia            Family: Mimosaceae

Between 100 and 150 species, many are tropical or sub-tropical plants.

They generally resemble Acacias (wattles). Some species are very tall, others are more appropriate for smaller gardens. Leaves are normally bipinnate, often fern-like. Flowers are plume-like, and white, green, yellow or pink in colour.

They are generally very fast growing, and sensitive to extreme cold or dryness while establishing. Ideally grown in sandy or gravelly soils, but they will adapt to any reasonably well drained soil. They will tolerate mild drought and temperatures to minus 5 degrees Celsius once established.

Most can be pruned by up to half their height annually. The fast regrowth keeps the plant healthier and looking better. Without regular pruning, many can be relatively short lived, and become sparse lower down. Avoid excessive mulching. They are prone to borers.

A. julibrissin –to 9m, this is generally inappropriate for small gardens.

A. distachya (syn. A. lopantha) –3 to 8 metres, very fast growing (it can reach full size in 1-2 years), but may only live 6 or 7 years. Specimens that live a long time often become sparse and ugly. Will often stay shrub-like in appearance when grown in harsh conditions. Yellow brush like flowers; will self seed easily and may become a pest in light soils.


Erythrina    Coral Tree         Family Fabaceae

A large genus of around 100 species, the flowers of some species are cooked and eaten, some have medicinal properties, and some are poisonous. Some are small, some tall. They are mainly tropical; most are woody, some herbaceous with young growth dying back to a greater or lesser degree after harsh conditions, only to regrow when conditions improve. Most are deciduous and have compound, trifoliate leaves. Many have short thorns. Flowers are pea-shaped, in racemes, and mostly red or yellow in colour, and often very showy, followed by hard, oval globe or elliptical shaped pods. Grown primarily for their showy flowers.

Some are very hardy; most prefer well drained soils and shelter from strong winds, but plenty of light (full sun is ideal). Many tolerate dry periods, but some will like plenty of moisture when putting on growth. They generally develop a tap root that makes them difficult to transplant. Prune to shape (herbaceous types should have dead or soft wood, pruned back at the end of the growing season, in preparation for the next seasons re-growths).They are susceptible to a few fungal diseases, including root rots, wilt and blight; and occasionally root nematodes; but overall, pests and diseases are not common.
Propagate from hot water treated seed, and by hardwood cuttings of woody types in winter.

E. crista-galli - 4 to 5m tall, deciduous, showy red flowers, occasional prickles, a spreading crown to 8m diameter.

E. heardii -6 to 8m tall, deciduous, flowers in winter or early spring, suits very dry climates.

E. phebocarpa - 5-6m tall, orange red flowers occur before leaves emerge at the end of winter (in warm areas) or in spring (in cooler districts).

E. X sykesii (Indian Coral Bean) -a hybrid between Australian and South African species; to 6m tall, deciduous, profusion of scarlet flowers late winter or early spring, does well in temperate Australia and New Zealand.


Sophora     Family   Fabaceae

There are about 50 species, both evergreen or deciduous shrubs or trees. They often have attractive divided leaves (pinnate) and open foliage, and attractive masses of usually white or yellow pea flowers in terminal panicles or axillary racemes, which are followed by long pods. They make excellent small specimen trees. Their roots are rarely a problem.

They are mostly grown in cool temperate climates, and they prefer a well drained loam, but adapt to most soils if they are not waterlogged. Full sun gives best results for both foliage and flowers. Though a temperate climate plants they like protection from extreme cold. Irrigate during periods of drought. Feeding is not normally needed, though plants may benefit from some attention in this area. Commonly trained as trees with competing leaders removed until the plant is well established. Prune lightly after flowering to remove spent flowers and promote bushiness. Pests are rarely a problem. A few diseases can occasionally occur (Canker, Damping off and Blight). Propagate easily by seed, sown when fresh, or cold stratified over winter and sown in spring. Some can also grow from cuttings, layers, and grafting of selected forms onto seedling rootstocks.

S. japonica ‘Pendula’  - A weeping form to 3-4m tall (note the typical species can however grow to 10m), with twisted contorted branches. Grafted onto an upright stem of the species. Masses of pea-shaped, cream flowers in summer. Hardy plant tolerating dry conditions, and poor soils, but responding well to fertilising, and additional water in summer.

S. microphylla  - A small deciduous tree, to 6m tall, with attractive fern-like foliage. Flowers are yellowish but variable in colour, occurring in spring. Less hardy than S. Japonica, preferring deep fertile soils, with regular moisture, reasonable drainage, and mild winters.

S. tetraptera (Kowhai) – To 5 to 7 m tall, with an upright non-spreading habit, pale to golden yellow flowers in late mid to late spring.





We also offer a range of eBooks that may be of interest to you. Please visit our online horticulture bookstore.  

You may find the following of particular interest –

Growing Conifers eBook - The great thing about conifers is they look good all year round. Most of them are grown for foliage, and in general, foliage remains the same pretty well all year. Unlike other trees and shrubs,you do not have a month of attractive flowers, followed by an obscure plant the remainder of the year. A brilliant blue of gold foliage conifer will be blue or gold month in, month out.

Growing Trees and Shrubs in Small Gardens eBook - This ebook is an essential guide for anyone who wants to make the most of a small garden, balcony, verandah or courtyard. The psychological benefits of having living plants in your environment can not be underestimated. If you live in a city, an apartment or just a small cottage this ebook will help you re-connect with nature and make the most of your garden.

Trees and Shrubs eBook - Useful for students, or the tradesman already working in the field; or the home gardener; who needs a quick reference when choosing plants for a garden.

Trees and Shrubs For Warm Places eBook - Never before published! This ebook is a major reference work, 15 years in preparation, containing around 300 colour photos! It is a comprehensive guide to plants grown in any type of warm place – tropical, sub-tropical, greenhouses, and court yards that have become heat traps in temperate places.