VietNamNet Bridge – Cao Dinh Hung, a PhD University student in Australia, has been successful in developing a new method of using synthetic seeds to grow native eucalyptus and African mahogany trees, which are traditionally difficult to propagate from graft cuttings.
Hung worked with Professor Stephen Trueman for three long years in the university laboratory, experimenting in the use of synthetic seeds to grow eucalyptus and African mahogany tree saplings. Both the species are difficult to propagate using traditional methods of grafting.
The study has now been published in the professional journal, Plant Cell Tissue and Organ of the Netherlands.
This process of propagation is considered simpler and more economical, involving a small tree bud being inserted into a gel bead. After treatment in the laboratory, the bead grows new shoots and roots and can be propagated in nurseries. After this stage, the saplings with 4-6 nodes, are split into single nodes and nurtured into full grown trees.
This method is simple yet effective, since any number of trees can be created within a four week cycle.
According to Hung, the node cutting method is used mainly for species like bamboos, sugarcane and cassava. No-one has ever applied it for eucalyptus as this tree does not have internodes.
A sample of his study is a hybrid variety of eucalyptus with scientific name Corymbia torelliana x C. citriodora, which has very high productivity, quick growth rate and fierce resistance against pests and harsh weather. It provides high quality timber for construction, paper making, interior decorating and the leaves can be used to extract essential oil.
This is now being experimentally planted in tropical and semi-tropical areas of Australia and already showing good growth and resistance to outside conditions. For Hung, since most eucalyptus in Vietnam is imported from Australia, the prospect of applying his study to growing this species would help fight deforestation and erosion in his country.
Australia has 900,000 hectares of eucalyptus plantations and Vietnam has 600,000 hectares, putting them in the world’s top 10 nations with maximum area under eucalyptus plantation.
Cao Dinh Hung was born on November 5, 1974 in the central city of Thua Thien–Hue. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Hue University of Science and in a Foreign Language from Hue University College of Education. After a period research at the Tay Nguyen Biology Institute and teaching at a university in the highland province of Lam Dong, he received a scholarship to study in Australia. He then obtained a Master’s degree from Sydney University of Technology. Last June, he completed his PhD from Sunshine Coats University in Australia. Hung is a well respected scientist today and has had many breakthrough studies in the field of forestry and is appreciated in Australia and Vietnam alike.