Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

What Tree Is That? Amateur Researcher Benefits from Experts' Learned Works and Neighbourhood Walks

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

What Tree Is That? Amateur Researcher Benefits from Experts' Learned Works and Neighbourhood Walks

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbara Fahey GRAFTON: City of Trees

HAVE no illusions about my expertise as a botanist. Trained as I am in research, I take advantage of all resources available to write stories of the many interesting, amazing, unusual and often local, Australian trees which adorn our streets. Hence the references mentioned at the conclusion of my stories are vital to their veracity and accuracy.

My first port of call is "The Grafton Heritage Tree Survey", compiled for Grafton City Council and completed in 1991 by John Wrigley. This was a massive task but unfortunately it is now somewhat out of date as trees have been removed for various reasons and replaced -- or not.

Next is "Street Trees of Grafton", published in 2007 by Clarence River Tourism, which identifies and locates most species in our city. Then I go searching, street-walking you might call it. And I ask the neighbours.

Having identified particular trees often with the assistance of Jeff Thomas, noted botanist from NPWS, I take photographs and then refer to several learned books which I am privileged to own.

The first of these is "Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia" (2008) by AG Floyd, who is a legend in the botanical world of Australia. His erudition is extraordinary and the detailed information provided, identifying 403 currently recognised rainforest species here in south-eastern Australia, makes knowledge accessible to an amateur like me.

Alex Floyd had a distinguished career, academically at University of Melbourne and the Australian Forestry School in Canberra, and with the Forestry Commission in NSW and Papua New Guinea. Returning to Australia, he located on the North Coast of NSW with Forestry and later NPWS, engaged mostly in identification and forest inventory.

Through the efforts of Alex and others, the Forestry Herbarium at Coffs Harbour was transferred to the North Coast Regional Gardens there. …

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