One of our favourite trees is the Kurrajong (Brachychiton Populneus). It is a small to medium size tree that is related to the Queensland Bottle Tree (B. Rupestris). It grows naturally from north eastern Victoria to North Queensland. It likes well drained soil, particularly around granite outcrops.
It is a fantastic tree for small farms like ours. It provides dense shade and also drought fodder. They are deep rooting trees and support honey production.
We recently planted some seedlings, which are growing well. I also spied some seeds on a neighbour’s tree, so decided to see if I could propagate them ourselves.
The Australian National Botanical Gardens website provided me with enough encouragement to give it a go. Their website provides a wealth of information and can be found here: https://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/interns-2002/brachychiton-populneus.html.
The first step was to soak the seeds overnight in warm water.
I then cut the ends out of some old tins. These will be placed around the seeds, in an attempt to stop rabbits and kangaroos from chewing the young plants should they emerge.
I then selected the site for the new trees. I chose to plant the trees along a former rip-line. When you look at the photo below, it is obvious that the rip lines hold more moisture than the surrounding soil. This will also help the trees get their roots established through the shale rock.
It took a few minutes to scrape away some grass, and loosen up the soil. I placed the old tins over the seeds where I hope they will keep the new plants protected initially.
It was a glorious morning, and before too long I had my line of Kurrajong all planted. The supervisor also enjoyed his morning watching me work.
The only problem with my chosen site is that the trees will eventually grow and block one of our favourite views to the east. Of course that is, if they grow. As if that would ever happen on the Rock Farm! Here’s hoping!