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Our Environment

Discover the local flora and fauna that makes our Arboretum on the Central Coast so unique, and so worth visiting at any time of the year.

Crommelin Native Arboretum is a flora sanctuary with a variety of vegetation providing ample wildlife habitat for local species. The Arboretum is mainly open forest, but also features grassed areas, wetlands, patches of temperate rainforest and flowering shrubs. Our 5.5 hectare Arboretum can be explored by easy, looped walking trails, with signage throughout intersections of those trails.

The Arboretum connects to an active Wildlife Corridor between two forested areas. We offer many tree species for local wildlife, with wetland areas that act as biofilters. 

Types of flora found in the Arboretum includes: Threatened Species (50 plants), Koala food (30 plants), Bush tucker (>50 plants).

Fauna found in the Arboretum includes: Eastern Pygmy Possum (threatened), Powerful Owl (threatened), Barking Owl (threatened), Glossy Black Cockatoo (threatened), Red-crowned Toadlet (threatened), Lyrebirds, Bowerbirds, Fairy wrens, Tawny Frogmouth, Kookaburra, Bandicoots, Goannas, Snakes, Water dragons, Swamp Wallabies and many more.

Vegetation & Natural Systems

Three tree types are dominant and form an association of Sydney Red Gum (Angophora costata), Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera) and Sydney Peppermint (Eucalyptus piperita).

Along the wet gullies Black Ironbark (Eucalyptus paniculata) and Rough-Barked Apple (Angophora floribunda) also occur. The second canopy layer normally comprises Forest Oak (Allocasuarina torulosa), Banksia (Banksia serrata) and Woody Pear (Xylomelum pyriforme), while the understorey layer consists of shrubs that evolved for dry conditions. 

The open forest includes a significant stand of the rare and endangered Burrawang Scrubby Woodland ecological community. The Burrawang (Macrozamia communis) is common and two major stands of the Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea arborea) occur. The open forest is similar to the Red Gum forest in Wyrrabalong National Park. The Red Gums have an association with the Burrawangs in which the latter fix gaseous nitrogen in the soil so the former can grow in soils which have very low nutrients. 

Two creeks dissect the Arboretum. The northern one contains an extensive area of wetland scrubland with some excellent examples of Cabbage Tree Palm (Livistona australis) and Tea Tree (Leptospermum polygalifolium). Cabbage Tree Palms and some wet edge rainforest species such as Scentless Rosewood (Synoum glandulosum), Blueberry Ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus) and Cheese Tree (Glochidion ferdinandi) surround the southern creek.

Arboretum Soils

The soil is a deep grey sandy alluvium, through which the water drains very quickly and is typically found over the Pearl Beach valley floor. The soils are very low in nutrients and minerals.

Propagating Natural Plant Species

Not all plants in our Arboretum are self-generated. An active propagation project is underway with the goal of growing plants indigenous not only to the Pearl Beach area, but also plant species from northern New South Wales and Queensland. To fulfill this propagation project, our team collects seeds from within the Arboretum and also from other local, approved bushland habitats.

Why Grow More Plants When We Have So Many Already?

The propagation of Australian native plants is often difficult, but very important for biodiversity. To propagate new plant species at Pearl Beach Arboretum, we use a variety of techniques – seeds, cuttings, divisions. Some seeds even require pre-treatment before they will germinate. 

We pay close attention to when we collect and plant certain seeds, as the seasons also affect their chance of success. Once seedlings are established in our purpose-built shade-house, we transfer them to the soil outside in specially selected areas, protected with wire guards. 

Several seed propagation techniques we use include:

  1. Scarifying

  2. Nicking

  3. Soaking

  4. Boiling

  5. Leaching

  6. Smoking

  7. Refrigerating

  8. Treating with acid

Resident of Pearl Beach?

We encourage all local residents to please plant local, native species in their gardens, this way any excess seedlings not needed for propagation within the Arboretum can be distributed in the Pearl Beach area.

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