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100 Hours

Conifers BHT230

Conifers are widely used as ornamental plants and timber trees. Some conifers even provide us with medicines, edible nuts ands other useful products. Learn to grow and use conifers, and take a step toward becoming a conifer expert with this unique course.

"Unlike many other plants; most conifers are grown for their year round, stunning and varied foliage affects rather than their seasonal flower displays. Grow conifers in places that you want to look stunning all year round, and not just part of the year"  John Mason, author of Growing Conifers, published by Kangaroo Press.

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Review the system of plant identification, general characteristics of the conifer plant group, information contacts you can use (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs, etc).
  2. Culture
    • Planting, staking, mulching, watering, pest & disease, feeding, pruning, protection from wind, salt air, propagation, etc.
  3. Trees
    • Conifers that reach tree proportions, their characteristics and requirements, how to grow conifers by seed propagation and grafting techniques.
  4. Common Medium Size Shrubs
    • Many conifers fall into this height category. Some of the popular conifers are Chamaecyparis, Juniperus and Thuja. How to prune conifers.
  5. Small Shrubs
    • How to choose small and prostrate conifers and their care. How to care for seedlings up to planting out stage.
  6. Australian Native Conifers
    • Araucaria, Callitris, Podocarpus are three good conifers for use. The importance of environmental zones in New Zealand and how it can effect plant growth.
  7. Rarer Conifers
    • Hemlocks, Podocarpus, Larches and leaf characteristcs of Cephalataxus.
  8. Using Conifers
    • As timber, oils, edible seed, christmas trees, etc.
  9. Landscaping with Conifers
    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.


    • Distinguish between different types of conifers in cultivation, including twenty-five different genera and fifty different varieties.
    • Specify the general cultural requirements of different conifer genera.
    • Determine specific cultural requirements for some commonly cultivated conifer species.
    • Specify specific cultural requirements for some lesser grown conifers, including Australian native and uncommon species.
    • Determine different commercial applications for conifers in horticulture.
    • Prepare a planting design using conifers.

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