NEW GUIDE: Pictured Steve McAlpin, Mark Dunphy and Michelle Chapman have written a book on rainforest seed propagation with seed collector Paul Nelson. Photo: Jackie Munro
NEW GUIDE: Pictured Steve McAlpin, Mark Dunphy and Michelle Chapman have written a book on rainforest seed propagation with seed collector Paul Nelson. Photo: Jackie Munro

How to grow your own rainforest trees

HAVE you ever wondered how to grow your own rainforest trees or learn how to collect and propagate the seed from a local tree?

Many rainforest species are notoriously difficult to cultivate and often require "weird" and enigmatic techniques to grow.

However do not fear, there is now a user-friendly growing guide to help you become a rainforest green thumb.

Five Northern Rivers locals have teamed up to produce a comprehensive guide which can help you successfully propagate rainforest plants.

Authors Mark Dunphy, Steve McAlpin, Paul Nelson, Michelle Chapman and photographer Hugh Nicholson have combined their many years of experience to publish a "revolutionary" new guide Australian Rainforest Seeds.

The new paperback book guides readers through collecting, processing and propagating seeds from rainforest species, while stunning glossy photographs help the reader to identify certain species.

Co-author Michelle Chapman said the guide is the first of its kind in Australia, and is the culmination of more than 35 years of experience.

"The book is really designed to help everyone in the community learn how to grow these species the right way," she said.

"It outlines the seeds of 300 subtropical rainforest species, and includes how to sustainably collect, process and germinate rainforest seeds."

Ms Chapman said the guide provides specific information on how to sustainably collect, process and germinate seeds, and aims to support a growing movement of rainforest restoration.

"We're trying to get even more people involved in rainforest regeneration," she said.

"This is a guide that starts from the very beginning and covers the basics, so anyone can pick up a seed and grow a health plant from it."

 

AUTHORS: From left Michelle Chapman, Paul Nelson, Mark Dunphy and Steve McAlpin have co-authored a book on rainforest seed propagation. Photo: Contributed
AUTHORS: From left Michelle Chapman, Paul Nelson, Mark Dunphy and Steve McAlpin have co-authored a book on rainforest seed propagation. Photo: Contributed

 

Co-author Steve McAlpin said for many native rainforest species, it can be very difficult to harvest and grow seeds successfully, which was one of the reasons they decided to publish the book.

"For many species it is a lot of work to get them to propagate," he said.

"There are a number of weird and wonderful techniques we've all had to learn over the years. There's so many ways to grow them there's no way you can possibly remember them all."

The book contains an A-Z guide with instructions for collecting, storing and propagating the seeds of 300 subtropical rainforest species, 300 colour photographs provided for easy fruit identification and seed collection and detailed techniques for preparing seeds for successful germination.

The 216 page book also includes an easy-to-understand guide to fruit types and seed biology and propagation instructions to suit all nurseries from the backyard to commercial.

Australian Rainforest Seeds is available for purchase from Firewheel Nursery in Dorroughby, as well as selected bookstores.

A number of the authors will be speaking at February's Science in the Pub event at Eltham Pub on Thursday, February 20 from 5.30pm.


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