The beginning of our “phenomenological” trial

Last week we reached a EucXylo milestone: we finally planted the 12 trees which will for our so-called “phenomenological” trial!  This is a longitudinal-type experiment in which we’ll be intensively monitoring tree growth and responses to environment in four different Eucalyptus species and hybrids (all clones).  We’ll be comparing E. grandis, E urophylla, E. grandis x urophylla and E. grandis x nitens in a latin rectangle arrangement.

Getting to this point involved ordering 12,000 L of ingredients for a blended soil that had to be transferred into a set of 1000 L bags.  We got this done in one busy day using four cement mixers and a motivated team.  We kept everyone’s energy up with pizza for lunch and some sweet energy drinks. The next day, we planted the twelve individual trees which had been selected into the medium.  It was good to have timed it for just prior to a cool weekend with some light rain.

We’ll install the drip irrigation systems this week. These are nearly ready: just two more solenoids to be added to give each block an independent water line.  And then, we’ll need to wait just a few months until the trees are ready to have all the monitoring equipment installed.  This will include sap flow, dendrometers and more.


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