Acacias

Become an Acacia Expert -learn to identify, grow and use Acacias; for landscping, soil rehabilitation-even food.

Course Code: VHT114
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to Identify, Grow and Use a wide Variety of Acacias

 

Acacias occur naturally mainly in dry tropical or mild temperate regions.  Authorities vary on the exact number of species that exist, but more are native to Australia than anywhere else. Other species are as wide spread as Africa, America and South East Asia. Some occur naturally in snow prone areas, and can withstand very harsh winter conditions.

Acacias are mostly shrubs and trees. Some are very low growing and can be used effectively as ground covers. Growing Acacias in areas outside of their natural conditions can be somewhat unpredictable and variable.

  • Some have adapted well as garden plants, or as windbreak or screening plants.
  • Others have become weeds when transplanted beyond their indigenous area.
  • Some have other uses and a number are even farmed commercially to produce products as diverse as extracts for medicines, oil for the perfume industry, edible food products, and timber products for fencing, furniture and building construction.

 

This course builds your ability to both identify and use different Acacias.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Review of the system of plant identification, information sources, etc.
  2. Physiology of Acacias
    • Flower structure
    • Foliage types within the genus
    • Flower types within the genus
    • Acacia fruits
  3. Culture
    • Planting, staking, mulching, watering, feeding, pruning, etc
  4. Propagation
    • Methods of propagating Acacias.
    • Propagation of selected varieties.
  5. Acacias in the Garden
    • Landscape uses
    • Plant selection
    • Acacias for different situations (Cold hardy, drought hardy, humid climates, summer flowering, autumn flowering, etc)
    • The Design Process
  6. Other Uses for Acacias
    • Timber uses
    • Tanning
    • Cut Flowers
    • Food Source
    • Gum Arabic
  7. Pest & Diseases
    • Galls, Beetles, Weevils, etc
    • Environmental problems: Frost, Shade, Temperature, Wind
  8. Special Project
    • PBL project where you plan the establishment of a collection of different cultivars of Acacias suited to growing in a specified locality.

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.

Aims

  • Describe the way in which Acacias are classified.
  • Determine how to find reliable resource information that relates to Acacias
  • Describe the physiology of Acacias
  • Determine cultural requirements that are common to Acacias
  • Determine propagation methods that are commonly applicable to Acacias.
  • Describe a variety of commercial uses for Acacias.
  • Describe a range of other practical uses for Acacias.
  • Identify and recommend treatment for a variety of health problems occurring with Acacias.
  • Develop an in depth understanding of one aspect of Acacia Growing.

Acacias have more uses than most people realize.

 
  • The most obvious use is as a garden plant; or perhaps a timber.
  • Acacias are also grown and harvested for a whole range of purposes.
  • Did you realize that Gum Arabic comes from Acacias?
  • Did you realize that some African tribes use Acacias as a major food source for livestock?
  • Do you realize, some Acacias are used to supply medicines?
  • Do you realize native peoples in Australia, Africa and other places eat seeds, flowers, gum and other things harvested from Acacias

    Want To Learn More .... This course offers a unique opportunity to do just that!

 

What are Wattles?

Wattles are plants belonging to the genus "Acacia" within the plant family "Mimosaceae",

 

There are over 700 species of wattles; a large proportion indigenous to Australia, but many others from Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

A Brief Overview

Appearance: Mainly shrubs and small trees. Pod-like fruits. Leaves fern-like (pinnate) or reduced to leaf like petioles (phyllodes).

Flowers: Soft cylinders or balls; mainly yellows or creams.

Features: Some are scented, some are commercial sources of tannin, timber, firewood and gums. A. pycnantha is the floral emblem of Australia.

Requirements: Generally adapt to a wide range of soils. Most prefer well drained conditions. There are varieties suited to most climates, mainly natives of Australia and southern Africa, many prefer full sun or filtered light, some do well in shaded but not dark conditions.

Culture: Propagate by seed (crack seed coats by immersing in boiling water, prior to sowing), light pruning may be useful to shape, otherwise avoid pruning, many are short lived (15 years or less), others are long lived (over 100 yrs).

Pest and Disease Management: Not a lot of serious problems, though wasp galls and borers are not uncommon. Use a systemic insecticide, when problem is detected.

 

WHY STUDY WATTLES?

“Wattles are commercially important plants in many ways, and many parts of the world, from Australia through Asia and the Middle East into Africa. They have unique value for land rehabilitation, and certain species are prized for timber, fodder and even food"   
Quote from John Mason Dip.Hort.Sc. FIOH, FAIH, FPLA, MISHS, Garden Author and Horticultural Scientist

Studying any one group of plants in such depth will put you on the path to becoming somewhat of an expert with wattles.
This can be a valuable thing for many professions; from nurseryman, landscaper or horticulturist to environmentalist or botanist.
For others, wattles may simply be a passion.

What you learn here may be building on knowledge you already have, or it may be setting a foundation to continue learning more and more about Acacias after you graduate.

If you work with plants in any capacity, this course will be an asset in your career.
If you work more specifically with Acacias, this course may be a unique opportunity to grow your awareness, knowledge and skills set in ways that you might not easily achieve elsewhere.


 

 

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

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What do I need to know before I enrol?

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If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

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Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

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We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

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We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

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Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

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We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

Leading horticultural expert in Australia.
Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (c

Adriana Fraser (Horticulturist)

Over 30 years working in horticulture, as a gardener, propagator, landscape designer
, teacher and consultant. Adriana has spent much of her life living on large properties, developing and maintaining her own gardens, and living a semi self sufficient li

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Rosemary Davies

Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer.

She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe.

Jacinda Cole

Jacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

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