Eutacta cunninghamii (Aiton ex D.Don) Link
Eutassa cunninghamii (Aiton ex D.Don) G.Don
Common Name: Moreton Bay Pine
Moreton Bay pine is a large evergreen tree with a long, narrow crown; it can grow from 50 - 70 metres tall. It has a clear, straight, cylindrical bole up to 30 metres tall and 200cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is exploited commercially for its timber, and is also often grown as an ornamental[
]. In New Guinea, natural stands have been heavily exploited, especially for the plywood industry[
]. Areas such as Bulolo in Papua New Guinea are exhausted. Numerous small patches, however, still remain in a range of habitats and large scale logging is no longer viable[
]. Large amounts of timber are being produced from plantation sources, mainly in Australia but also in many other areas of the world[
Despite intense historic exploitation in Australia and ongoing exploitation in Papua and New Guinea and Indonesia, Araucaria cunninghamii and its two varieties are still reasonably widespread and abundant. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Australia - Queensland, north to New Guinea.
Isolated remnant pockets or in fairly dense stands on ridges, sometimes on swampy terrain[
]. It mainly occurs as scattered, predominant trees over an understorey of rainforest; only rarely does it form pure forests[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of low elevations in the moist tropics, found at elevations below 1,000 metres in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 15 - 25°c and the mean annual rainfall is 1,900 - 4,800 mm[
]. It can occasionally experience light frosts[
Plants are found in the wild on loam, clay, sand or peat soils[
Female flowering commences when the tree is about 12 years old while male flowering does not occur until it is 22-27 years old[
]. However in seed orchards of this species the age of production of male cones has been reduced to only 5 years and female cones from about 12 to 2 - 3 years by using physiologically mature grafting material[
]. The seed production is often unreliable and low; a time lapse of 8 - 10 years between good seed crops is common[
The bark is heavily impregnated with resin, and thus much more resistant to decay than the wood[
Seed - raw or cooked[
]. The seeds are around 15mm long and 6 - 7mm wide[
The bark exudes a resin when cut. This resin can be dissolved in alcohol to treat kidney ailments[
A pioneer species in disturbed habitats where the soils may be very poor, leached, podzolic and acid[
]. It is potentially capable of being an important plantation enrichment planting species in Africa and tropical America[
The bark is heavily impregnated with resin[
The wood varies in colour from almost white to cream or light brown. The wood is strong, finely and evenly textured, virtually without odour. It is durable if kept dry, though may be susceptible to fungal attack. It is easy to work, readily accepting a wide variety of stains and finishes. A medium-quality softwood, it is suitable for use as general-purpose construction timber; better grades are suitable for internal finishes for buildings, furniture and cabinet making. It is also an excellent veneer species and is used as such for making plywood. It is directly or indirectly suitable for pulping through the use of wood residues[
Seedlings can be raised by pregermination techniques or by sowing into beds. A. cunninghamii can also be successfully grafted by using scion budding with material taken from the apical leader of the main stem, or by side-approach grafting and bottle grafting using the apical shoot of the main stem. Grafted branch material produces plagiotropic grafts and has little use other than for pollen production.
Seed storage behaviour is orthodox. Mature seeds collected at about 36% mc tolerate desiccation to about 7 % mc or even 2% mc without loss in viability. A germination rate of 43% has occurred after 8 years of hermetic air-dry storage at -15 deg. C. The viability of seeds that have been dried to moisture contents in equilibrium with ambient environment was maintained for 8 years at -9 deg. C to -15 deg. C. Similarly, 50% germination after 50 weeks of air-dry storage at -12 deg. C has been reported. If mature seeds are dried to 5% mc, long-term storage is possible in sealed containers at 3 deg. C. or lower.
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