Landcare group members collecting seed from a eucalypt

Collecting and identifying our local native seeds

Last week 9 of us gathered at Keith's property, Billa Burra Burra, to collect seed from several of his trees for propogating in our nurseries. We collected seed capsules as well as samples of bark, leaves, buds. Elizabeth and Mark made notes about the location (with GPS coordinates), what was growing nearby including other trees of the same species, and the health and other features of the tree. Maren took photos of the tree and surrounding landscape, the bark and leaves and the seed capsules. After the collection, we had dinner before heading home. We collected the seeds in boxes and bags, and stored the notes with them.

 

Next morning, Maren returned to spread the seeds out on sheets to dry in Keith's garage.

Later Maren sorted out the photos and the samples, which we hope will help us learn about identifying trees in future.

We're trying several methods of preserving the samples: storing them in a muslin bag (as they turn mouldy if stored in plastic), laminating some leaves (we can't laminate anything thicker than 0.4 mm though) and using clear adhesive plastic (book covering plastic) to attach some twigs, leaves and the smaller capsules and buds to cardboard.

One lesson learned from this exercise is that the note-takers should note the start and end time of collecting from each tree, and/or the photographer should turn on GPS if available on the camera, to help match the photos to the samples later.

The photos will be uploaded to Google Drive along with details of the plants (probably in a spreadsheet). We decided on a naming convention for the files, which is species name, date of collection, property code and original photo number - for example, Brachychiton_populneus3Feb2019BBB0043 (BBB is the property code for Billa Burra Burra). We considered using tags but although tags are a great way to organise photos for a collection, the programs and apps that use them don't always talk to each other.

 

 


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