Almost one kilometre of new footpath leads through the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens to an abundance of rare and endangered trees which have recently been identified.
Botanic Gardens and Horticulture Area Supervisor Cody Johnson said Bundaberg Woodworkers Guild members planted the trees years ago.
Some were planted in the 1980s and 1990s but labels were lost in recent floods, leaving the species unknown to Council staff.
Cody said the trees were originally planned to be harvested for their timber, with the Woodworkers Guild committed to creating a renewable, self-sustaining forest.
He said the Guild and Council now wished to retain the trees permanently so visitors could appreciate them for more than just their fine timber qualities.
One tree growing in the Woodworker’s area is Acacia bakeri, commonly known as Marblewood, which is an Australian species classed as vulnerable to extinction.
Cody said it's a rainforest Acacia and the Bundaberg Region is the northern limit of its distribution.
“Another very rare tree is Pouteria eerwah, commonly called Shiny Leaved Condoo, which is only found in the wild in a few pockets around the Sunshine Coast,” he said.
“Council has relied on its own botanists, as well as visiting plant specialists and the Queensland Herbarium to help identify particular species,” he said.
To identify a plant, botanists often need to look at the flowers and fruits, and Cody said that because many long-lived species have only just started to flower, it's a long process.
“There is still a lot of unknowns down here,” he said.
“We are in the process of labelling the trees, and the new-look label will provide the community with four pieces of information — the family the plant belongs to, the plant’s botanical name, the plant’s common name, and where it comes from in the world.
“We encourage people to come through on their bikes or take a stroll through this new area and check out what is here.”
Some labelled tree species include:
Falcataria toona (Mackay Cedar), Swietenia macrophylla (Big Leaf Mahogany), Flindersia schottiana (Bumpy Ash), Vitex lignum–vitae (Satinwood), Podocarpus elatus (Brown Pine), Argyrodendron sp. Kin Kin (Rusty tulip oak) and Dalbergia sissoo (Indian rosewood).
Other interesting tree species in the gardens include:Delarbrea paradoxa (no common name), Alectryon ramiflorus (Isis Tamarind), Alstonia spectabilis (Hard Milkwood), Gmelina arborea (White teak), Ficus drupacea (Drupe Fig), Khaya senegalensis (African Mahogany) and Ceiba pentandra (Kapok tree).
- Other news: Trainees thrive in conservation and land management