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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Australian Native Trees Course

"Packed with knowledge of the native trees of Australia"

This course first instructs you about different types of Australian flora, plant identification, information sources, planting, feeding, soils, pests & diseases, watering, propagation and transplanting.

The remaining lessons then deal with selected varieties of trees, windbreak planting, agroforestry, tree maintenance and tree selection.

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Become an Expert on Australian Native Trees 
  • Learn to select the right tree for the right location saving you money
  • Learn to propagate your own trees and save more money
  • Essential for any arboriculturalist, regenerators, horticulturalist and those with a general interest.
  • Study from home: saving you hassle, time and money

Learn about different types of Australian flora, plant identification, information sources, planting, feeding, soils, pests and diseases, watering, propagation and transplanting, selected varieties of trees, windbreak planting, agroforestry, tree maintenance and tree selection.

8 Lessons each with a set task and 8 assignments.

Knowing about trees is vital for any Horticultural career. Get to know them and you will understand what to plant where even better, and in a way that is harmonious to the natural landscape of Australia.

Course Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Review of the system of plant identification
    • Genus, Species
    • Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons
    • Characteristics of main Australian Plant Families
    • General characteristics of native trees
    • Information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs, etc.)
    • History of nomenclature
    • International Code
    • Ranks of Taxa
    • Principle of priority
    • Selection and spelling of plant names
    • Changing names
    • Hybrids
  2. Culture
    • Planting Procedure
    • Planting on slopes
    • Fertilizer
    • Time of planting
    • Staking
    • Mulching
    • Pruning native trees
    • Steps in removing a branch from a tree
    • Soils (Physical, chemical, biological structure)
    • Soil profile
    • Improving soil profile
    • Colloids
    • Water and air
    • Soil temperature
    • Soil life
    • Soil Problems (Loss of soil fertility, Erosion, Salinity, Soil compaction, Soil acidification, Build up of dangerous chemicals)
    • Improving soils (soil additives etc)
    • Limestone Underlay Technique
    • Fertilisers
    • Fertilising established trees
    • Plant Nutrition
    • Water Problems
    • Drainage
  3. Propagation
    • Choosing the right propagating technique
    • Seed
    • Seed sources
    • Hybrid seed production
    • Storing seed
    • Difficult seeds
    • Dormancy facftors
    • Maintaining genetic identity
    • Propagating Media
    • Propagating Eucalypts
    • Propagating Acacias
    • Cuttings
    • Improving curtting success rates
    • Grafting
    • Top graft
    • Whip & Tongue graft
    • Irrigated graft
    • Grafting selected plants ... Eucalypts, Grevilleas, Banksias, Hakeas
    • After care of seed and cuttings
    • Transplanting (seedlings, cuttings)
    • Potting up plants and Growing on
  4. Most Commonly Grown Varieties
    • Review dozens of relevant genera
    • Allocasuarina
    • Casuarina
    • Melia
    • Pittosporum
    • Acacia
  5. More About Important Groups
    • Eucalyptus
    • Banksia
    • Brachychiton
    • Grevillea
    • Diagnosing Tree Problems
    • Tree Surgery Techniques
  6. Other Varieties
    • Rainforest Trees
    • Constructing a Rainforest
    • Acmena
    • Eugenia
    • Mallotus
    • Melicope (Euodia)
    • Neolitsia
    • Nothofagus
    • Schefflera
    • Stenocarpus
    • Syzygium
    • Araucaria
    • Agathis
    • Actinostrobus
    • Callitris
    • Podocarpus
    • Adansonia
    • Agonis
    • Albizzia
    • Alstonia
    • Alphotinia
    • Angophora
    • Barklya
    • Buckinghamia
    • Castenospermum
    • Elaeocarpus
    • Ficus
    • Macadamia
    • Melia
    • Nuytsia
    • Tristania/Lophostemon
  7. Making The Best Use of Native Plants
    • Why plant trees in the Landscape
    • Problems with trees
    • Biological controls
    • Parasitism
    • Symbiosis
    • Planting Techniques (Pocket planting, slope serration, Wattling, Planting arid sites, Direct seeding, Spray seeding)
    • Edible Australian Tree Crops (Davidsonia, Quandong, Backhousia, Citrus, Acacia, Syzygium, Tasmannia, Kunzea)
    • Australian indigenous timber trees
    • Essential oils
    • Useful Australian Conifers (Actinostrobus, Athrotaxus, Agathis, Araucaria, Callitris, Podocarpus)
    • Australian Indigenous Palms
  8. Special Assignment
    • You select and conduct an in depth study of one plant genus or group (eg. Timber trees, conifers, trees from a particular region)

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Identify Australian Native Trees
  • Describe the culture of Australian Native Trees.
  • Propagate Australian Native Trees
  • Compare characteristics and cultural requirements of different commonly grown species of Australian Native Trees.
  • Compare characteristics and cultural requirements of conifer and rainforest species of Australian Native Trees.
  • Describe a range of uses for Australian native trees.
  • Investigate one type of Australian Native Tree in depth.


Course Duration:   100 hours


What is the Scope of Plants Covered?

This course builds your knowledge of a wide range of different species and a systemic understanding of the way these different plants are classified into various plant families. As you get to understand these families, you will develop a foundation that provides a framework for remembering not only the plant names but also the different cultural characteristics of each plant.

Here are just a few of the more common Australian Plant families where you can find trees (and other plants as well).   


The Myrtaceae family contains some of the most significant Australian native plant genera, including Eucalyptus, Corymbia, Callistemon, Melaleuca, Lophostemon, Thryptomene, Angophora, Agonis, Baeckea, Leptospermum, Eugenia, Astartea and Micromyrtus. Non-native genera in this family include Myrtus (Myrtle) and Feijoa. Members of this family are generally hardy and adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Most can be readily propagated from seed, and many of the smaller shrub types are often also propagated by cuttings.  


The following three families were formerly included as subfamilies in the Leguminosae (the ‘Pea’ family). They are now recognised as three separate families:     

All leguminous plants are characterised by their pod-type fruit. They are also useful for improving soil fertility - colonies of bacteria on the roots convert nitrogen from the air to feed the plant. Most native legume species are propagated from seed which is first soaked in boiling water.  


A diverse family with around 800 species and 38 genera in Australia. They are commonly known for the large, showy flowers which are borne on many species. Examples of Australian native genera in this family include Grevillea, Banksia, Hakea, Stenocarpus, Isopogon, Telopea, and Dryandra. Flowers are variable, although the petals tend to be insignificant. Leaves are often thick and dry in texture, and often with sharp tips. Seeds are large and woody.   Generally plants in this family require well-drained soils and commonly suffer from iron deficiency and phosphorus toxicity in cultivation. Some rainforest genera, including Macadamia, are an exception. They require more phosphorus than other genera in the family. Root rot is also a common problem. Propagation is commonly from seed for most species, with the exception of notable exception of grevilleas, which are grown from cuttings. Many species from other genera have, however, been successfully grown by cuttings or grafting.     


Twenty genera in Australia including Asterolasia, Boronia, Correa, Crowea, Diplolaena, Eriostemon, Flindersia, Geijera, Microcitrus, Murraya, Phelabalium and Zieria. Leaves of species from this family are covered with small dots (oil glands); flowers have either four or five petals. This family includes many small shrubs with attractive flowers.  


Most of the plants in this family are native to Australia. Notable genera include Pittosporum, Hymenosporum, Bursaria, Billardiera and Marianthus. Flowers have five petals, leaves are simple (undivided) and arranged alternatively on the stem, and fruits are either a berry or capsule (often attractive).  Many varieties may be propagated from both seed and cuttings.  

Asteraceae (Compositae)

The daisy family has a worldwide distribution of about 800 genera and 12,000 species. Australian genera include Helichrysum, Bracteantha, Olearia, Rhodanthe and Brachyscome. Most are lower growing plants, but some are trees. The flowers are actually a composite of many small flowers fused together to appear as one single flower. If the flower is pulled apart it can be seen that it is made up of many individual units, each one having its own set of floral parts (petal, stamen, stigma, ovary, etc). Some Asteraceae flowers are incomplete and have only some of the floral parts. Flowers in this family are generally fast growing, flower prolifically, and prefer well drained soils. Many are excellent cut flowers or are used for dried floral arrangements.  

This is only the start. There are more families, and lots more to learn about the genera in the families above. Enrol today to become an Australian Native Tree Specialist.


Who Can This Course Help?

Essential for any arboriculturalist, regenerators, horticulturalist and those with a general interest.

Learn from experts in this fascinating field and become an expert yourself.





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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.
Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

Check out our eBooks

Growing ConifersThe great thing about conifers is they look good all year round. Most of them are grown for foliage, and in general, foliage remains the same pretty well all year. Unlike other trees and shrubs, you do not have a month of attractive flowers, followed by an obscure plant the remainder of the year. A brilliant blue of gold foliage conifer will be blue or gold month in, month out.
Trees & Shrubs for Small GardensTurn even the smallest space into a great place. This e-book is an essential guide for any gardener who wants to make the most of a small garden, balcony, verandah or courtyard.
Trees and Shrubs for Warm PlacesA stunning book with around 300 colour photos! A comprehensive reference to thousands of tropical plant varieties (mostly different information to the Tropical Plants book) . An classic reference for nurserymen, landscapers, interior plantscapers, horticulturists and any tropical plant enthusiasts. 209 pages
Growing Palms and Palm Like PlantsPalms and palm-like plants are mostly grown as structural plants. They add stunning shapes into a garden that are different to other plants and for that reason alone, stand out and capture our attention, making a garden more interesting. Palms can be more than just architectural forms though; providing shade, colour and texture to a garden. If you choose an appropriate species, they are great indoor plants.