We’ve been having some notable successes at the Bili Nursery over recent months. Here’s a tray of river red gum seedlings (eucalyptus camaldulensis) prior to pricking out.
Have a guess how many potentially towering trees there are in this tray.
I seriously underestimated the total at 500. But what do you think?
Westgate Biodiversity Bili Nursery and Landcare (WBBNL) manager Nic Brinkley estimates there are around 2000 individual plants.
The river red gum is one of the most widespread plants in Australia and each of these seedlings has the potential to grow 25 to 45 metres in height.
But first, for the next stage of propagation, they’ll all need pricking out to individual containers.
For an entire tray, such as this, that delicate process might take a beginner more than a week of painstakingly delicate work and, unfortunately, a high attrition rate.
But the most skilled of our nursery workers and volunteers reckon on a pricking out target of 1000 plants per day.
Each of those tiny seedlings should then develop into robust shoots ready for distribution to customers or retail.
You can find these plants and many, many other indigenous plant species at the Bili Nursery, 525 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne 3207.
January opening times Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm.