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Some people may have seen this posted elsewhere but for those that haven't, this is Sandalwood. A slow growing, hemi-parasitic plant, meaning it is parasitic but can also photosynthesize on its own.

 

The usual host tree in plantations is the Acacia acuminata. Other host plants can be Acacia victoriae (and other nitrogen fixing plants - so other FABACEAE also?). Even Casurina obesa can be used. The common host in the wild is Acacia aneura (Mulga), which is also extremely slow growing. I will be doing some experiments to see if they are able to use Eucalyptus for hosts, among some other Genus

 

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Seed ripening on the tree. It consists of the brown husk which contains a hard nut which holds the seed. Some nuts will rattle around inside the husk and some the husk will shrivel over the nut - this is a pain in the ass as you have to de-husk them. I find if you leave seed over an ants nest they will do the work for you but it may take some time.

 

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This is the first time I have seen the husk and hard nut splitting open while still attached to the tree. I took all the seed from the split ones and planted them with some jam saplings. I am taking notes to see if these are viable.

 

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Sandalwood seedlings can survive for approximately 12 months from time of germination until they require a host.

 

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The nuts need to be cracked before germination will occur. These nuts have a natural weak spot along the micropyle. A few gentle taps with a hammer and it will split open. Then the imbibing of water will kickstart the process.

 

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Loaded with unripe fruits. Another 4-6 weeks and we will have bucket loads - literally. I love the foliage colour.

 

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Cool photo of growth stages.

 

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I have removed 8 seedlings and will also take notes on how well they adapt to being transplanted, if at all. Hopefully can do a seed give away towards the end of the year for those who have good climate, soils and host trees which are at least 1 year old. Said seed giveaway won't take 2 years either :)

 

Note: all from private land

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So many out here (W.A Goldfields) where i work, real gnarly and battle hardened looking trees. But the smell is sooo nice.

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2 minutes ago, mr b.caapi said:

So many out here (W.A Goldfields) where i work, real gnarly and battle hardened looking trees. But the smell is sooo nice.

 

Yeah, see them every trip out to Wiluna on the side of the road between Menzies and Leinster. Interesting to run into someone here who also works on the goldfields of WA :o

 

Just got back a few weeks ago. I miss the heat:(

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Posted (edited)

Miss the heat !    same...I flew up here to Laverton this arvo for nightshift hoping for a nice temp. Got off the plane and it was fckn cold !  ....  10 degrees at 15:30 !    ...     

 

 

Edited by mr b.caapi

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Just now, mr b.caapi said:

Miss the heat !    same...I flew up here to Laverton this arvo for nightshift hoping for a nice temp. Got off the plane and it was fckn cold !  ....  10 degrees at 15:30 !    ...     

 

 

 

Are you staying at boomers or site camp?

Ha, fuck that. Give me 40+ any day of the week.

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Posted (edited)

Hehe      agreed ! Yep i say that to my crew every summer up here... give me these 40 + temps every day of the year !          Im on site mate. (Granny Smith )

Edited by mr b.caapi

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M3zAMSa.thumb.jpg.9216f47ff4e2d45ceb1a5c6c384f2203.jpg

 

It's interesting that this seedling (and a few others the same) are quite firmly latched onto bits of grass as seen in the photo.

 

Today I found a dead sandalwood around 2m tall so I removed it. It was definitely minimum age for oils (which I believe is around 12-15 years) - the smell is absolutely divine. The root is equally as valuable, but digging that out was a bloody mission.

I have over 150 seed already and I hope once there is another zero on the end I can do a give away for interested parties.

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Would love to  germinate some if you ever have spare seed.

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@mr b.caapi

 

I have some (8) seedlings in pots too. Hopefully can do a give away/trade with them for Perth folk, assuming they survive the transplant, which is why I am waiting. I counted 19 germinations under a single tree. Crazy.

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Chatting to a gentleman today who has said they are a non-discriminatory parasitic plant and will have a go at anything but do best on woody perennials that have Nitrogen fixing properties and Phosphorous scavenging soil organisms, so legumes and Proteaceae?

 

They apparently don't do well on grasses (as seen above), Eucalyptus OR Melaleuca.

 

I might attempt to dig out one patch of grass and any seedlings attached to it (down to about 2 feet deep), bring it back to Perth and see how it goes as another transplant experiment. Heading back to the country later this week so can see how earlier transplants are going, for those interested.

 

Edit: found one Sandalwood latched onto a Grevillea? Pic tomorrow.

Edited by Gimli
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sw1.thumb.jpg.064da0650d91d17eaee9f311f48a1ca6.jpg

 

I have 20 seedlings removed from around the plantation. All pots are noted with a number which corresponds to my notes. I am hoping I can get them to survive. I took 2 extras, and put them in soil that wasn't from where they were growing and they are already dead, within a week, so hopefully if these can make it past 4-6 weeks they should be okay?

 

Thoughts?

 

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Today I picked a standard 2L ice cream containers worth of seed from 3 tree. Tomorrow/Sunday there should be more to pick/ Given we have approx 1000~ trees.... Gonna be a lot of seed! :)

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5a0d7b0bb5339_lTAxvPo-Copy.thumb.jpg.963cca461d0f6658f7708cfa4da2e3de.jpg

 

Of the original 20 seedlings I removed, these are the winners. These already have a home to go to.

 

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Shake tree. Collect. The husks are bone dry and crumble with a small squeeze. Going to need to whip up something that can de-husk hundreds of seed at a time.

 

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A Mistletoe species on a jam tree. We cut them off when we see them as they use precious energy that could be put into the sandalwood trees.

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http://sandalwood.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/SANDALWOOD-FACT-SHEET-1.pdf

 

Some info about annual rainfall, hosts, ground preparation etc

 

http://sandalwood.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/SANDALWOOD-FACT-SHEET-2.pdf

 

http://sandalwood.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/SANDALWOOD-FACT-SHEET-3.pdf

 

Info about sowing seed, storing seed etc

 

http://sandalwood.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/SANDALWOOD-FACT-SHEET-4.pdf

 

http://sandalwood.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/SANDALWOOD-FACT-SHEET-5.pdf

 

http://www.agroforestry.net.au/main.asp?_=Sandalwood

 

Some info on germinating sandalwood. One thing I learnt from the above link just now is that you need to hard prune host plants so they don't fully shade out the sandalwood. Time to do a massive prune.

 

http://avongro.com.au/Webpages/documents/sandal2005Jul.pdf

 

Bit of info about direct seeding, sandalwood/host ratios and some general info.

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If the seed is ripe, the exocarp and the endocarp will have separated i.e. they'll rattle

 

Quite cool.

 

http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species Navigator/Media/Html/Santalum_spicatum.htm

 

Some great info in this fact sheet.

 

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00049158.2003.10674924

 

It's interesting reading this and noting that the 3 year survival rate was better with Acacia saligna rather than Acacia acuminata, but they don't live as long which is why acuminata is most commonly used.

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aCdTaNU.thumb.jpg.69035dcb5d85d3f98da6524e3936db39.jpg

 

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Short time picking. Only another 900~ odd trees to go. I am probably only taking 1/10 seeds? Such a waste.

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Forgot to upload this photo a while ago.

 

Some sort of Grevillea?

k1dneNB.jpg

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Gave some of my jam seedlings a cracked Sandalwood nut. Will keep under indirect light and a little moisture to mimic good rains around the April time

 

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Planted another seedling with a self sown Sandalwood seedling that I removed from the ground about 4-5 weeks ago? Hopefully it latches on. Host isn't one year old but not too worried.

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Today I took a 44gal drum, cut 2 holes in each end to slide in a piece of tube and then welded the around where the tube protruded from the ends.

 

Next I cut a rectangle in the drum length ways (by 300mm high?), re-attached it with 3 hinges, a locking clasp and some flat bar around to brace. I then built a frame for it so it sits off the ground and can rotate freely.

 

Welded a random gear to one end of the tube which I will attach to an old 50cc motor. Inside the drum I will place cracker dry sandalwood fruits in with some old steel ball weights.

 

This will tumble the cracker dry husks into small bits which then poured thru a sieve that sits underneath the barrel, will leave only the nut.

Now I just need a way of getting thousands of seed off the ground without breaking a sweat :) 

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While not Sandalwood, but Quandong (Native Peach), this little tidbit I find quite interesting...

 

http://cropsfordrylands.com/wp-content/uploads/ACFDsample.pdf

 

"..the plants acquired insecticidal compounds from their host tree, which accumulated to some degree in the fruits. Therefore, caution should be taken not to plant Desert Quandongs near poisonous plants as toxins may be transferred"

 

Worth an experiment one day?

 

Edit: 4/10/17 I planted some cracked seed in a big pot that contains a commercial cultivar of Acacia leprosa (Scarlet Blaze) and a general potting mix. Planted approx 1.5" below the surface.

 

Had a little dig around today to have a squiz (26/11/17) and at least one nut has germinated. It will be interesting to see how long until it breaks through the surface

Edited by Gimli
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hwM6RZJ.thumb.jpg.0886c2721ed3ffa0609136abf61064a9.jpg

 

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Another day of picking seed :blink:

 

Cut down a few dead jam trees to use the wood in my meat smoker. Divine smell.

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kZrIMId.thumb.jpg.286b8127b8a86ed6693285a5b6e381b0.jpg

 

59 days since sown...

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After germination I repotted the above into its own pot and filled wth baileys premium potting mix - as I didn't want it in the pot with the A leprosa

 

In the last 10 days it has put out a root that is nearly 20cm long and popping from the bottom of the pot.

 

This specimen will never have a host. anpsa.org.au say that for Quandong (Santalum acuminatum) a host plant is beneficial, but not essential at all. http://anpsa.org.au/APOL7/sep97-2.html

 

I don't see why this can't be applied to Sandalwood. Now we just wait for 60 more seed to germinate.

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4/10/17 - placed 2 cracked seed in a pot which contains a Hakea burrendong

 

15/12/17 - nice little sprout with a decent root system. The second one I accidentally snapped:(

 

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This has been potted up and like the above it will never get a host.

 

It's interesting to note that some have germinated properly (like the above has) and some just keep sending taproots until it exhausts its energy reserves from the kernel. Odd.

 

I am going to setup one pot (80-100L) with a Gastrolobium sapling and in it I will place a Quandong seed. Interested to know if the toxin from the Gastrolobium is transferred to the Quandong fruit. This is a semi-long term experiment. Think it takes about 5 years for it to fruit.

Edited by Gimli
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Photo from a few months back just after a nice shower. There is just something about the foliage colour that I love.

 

20170928_165558.thumb.jpg.89fd816aed604f69ed94bb032c5af772.jpg

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