Saving Hunter Valley River Red Gums

Botanic Gardens of Sydney researchers are conducting genetic testing to aid in saving Hunter Valley River Red Gums.

Researchers hope genetic testing can help restore endangered River Red Gums in New South Wales Hunter Valley.

It’s the only naturally occurring population of River Red Gums east of the Great Dividing Range. Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Research Centre for Ecosystem Resilience head Maurizio Rossetto told ABC’s Landline the Hunter population had previously been connected to regions further west.

“This was part of a continuum of a much bigger population that was coming along the whole state,” Mr Rossetto told the program.

Mr Rossetto and his team of researchers are conducting a genetic diversity project, called Restore and Renew, to help bring the species back from the brink. Leaf samples are collected from different sites across the Hunter before the DNA is analysed in a laboratory, giving us an idea of the relationship between individual trees.

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney is working with the Department of Planning and Environment’s Saving our Species (SOS) program to make findings available online. People interested in restoration projects can access the data and see what type of seeds they should source to increase genetic diversity within their plantings.

Community groups, coal mining operations and local councils are looking to use findings from Restore and Renew to guide future plantings.

SOS senior project officer Katie Elsley said landholders would be crucial for the project to help re-establish a continuum of trees.

See the full report at,

Learn more about the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Research Centre for Ecosystem Resilience at


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