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13 Feb 2023 - Three Tales from Tea Tree Farmers

The Farmer Magazine Article featuring three of our producers More »»

23 Nov 2021 - Scientists Confirm: Essential Oils Unrelated to Hormone Disruption

Epidemiological Research Debunks the Long-Held Myth That Lavender and Tea Tree Oils Cause Endocrine Disruption in Children. More »»

11 Jun 2021 - Plant Health Australia

Plant Health Australia (PHA) are seeking Non-Executive Directors applications. More »»

19 Mar 2021 - AgriFutures Tea Tree Oil Program Advisory Panel

AgriFutures Australia is seeking to broaden the skillset of its Tea Tree Oil Program Advisory Panel by appointing two new members. More »»

Literature Database

ATTIA maintains a database of published and unpublished literature of research on TTO since 1904 when Melaleuca alternifolia was first identified by Maiden & Betche. To access the database click HERE, there are more than 1,300 documents referenced.

Research Quantities of pure Australian Tea Tree Oil


ATTIA can organise supply of research quantities of pure Australian tea tree oil for bona fide research purposes free of charge. The TTO will be COP accredited pure Australian material sourced direct from member plantations with full traceability and accompanied by a certificate of analysis for the batch it was drawn from.

If you need research quantities of pure Australian TTO please contact ATTIA through the Contact Us page HERE.

ATTIA can also assist with funding in some instances, currently we support research in conjunction with RIRDC and the NSW DPI principally through the tea tree breeding program:

Tea Tree Breeding Program

Tea tree seed


Tea Tree seed scaled against an Australian 20 cent coin


The Australian tea tree oil industry has become an important regional industry in Australia with a farm-gate value in excess of $26M with 90% of oil exported. Australian producers, who face fluctuating tea tree oil prices and with growing international competition, need to have access to higher yielding varieties to achieve efficiencies of production if they are to remain economically viable in the long term.

The principal aim of the tea tree breeding program is to improve oil yields from selected lines of M. alternifolia that were known to be the best yielding wild stock back in the days when all tea tree oil was harvested from natural stands in northern NSW. This project has been running since 1993 in partnership with the DPI and RIRDC and has released progressively improved seed to the industry that has increased oil yield from 148kg/ha prior to the start of breeding to around 300kg/ha. Seed was first released in 1997 and grower uptake has been excellent in Australia.

Flowering Tea Tree.JPG           



Tea tree flowers at the Wyrallah orchardFlowering Wyrallah orchard.jpg





RIRDC and ATTIA provided funding support of $400,000 for the five years ending June 2014 and a funding proposal for 2015 to 2017 has recently been approved by both ATTIA and RIRDC. Continued support from all project clients and stakeholders will ensure that growers can maximise oil production and profit through use of improved seed and clones and thus enhance the long-term viability of the Australian tea tree oil industry.

This current proposal (2015-2017) builds on five rounds (1993/96, 1996/2001, 2001/06, 2007/09 and 2010/14) of successful RIRDC/ATTIA tea tree breeding projects, where oil yields of plantations using project seed have been progressively increased from 148 kg/ha which was the industry average prior to the start of breeding to  in excess of 300 kg/ha. This is equivalent to a 100% improvement achieved in a just 20 years years of selection and breeding. The doubling of returns to growers is very strong economic justification for the continuation of the breeding project.

Measuring plant height after 13 months Wollongbar.jpg





Measuring plant height and leafiness after 13 months at the DPI Wollongbar Institute


Joint ATTIA/RIRDC tea tree oil research projects are ongoing, RIRDC produces Research in Progress summaries of ongoing projects as well as for completed projects. The intention is to:
• give stakeholders early access to the results of ongoing and completed work to inform their decisions, and
• to inform researchers of results to shape research directions.

The complete set of reports on all programs is available on the RIRDC website at http://www.rirdc.gov.au

Images courtesy of Gary Baker, DPI Research Institute, Wollongbar, NSW. All images © Gary Baker.

Other Research Information

There are several links to relevant RIRDC pages below for more detailed information on the collaborative research efforts of ATTIA and RIRDC as well as a link to the University of Western Australia tea tree oil research group who are at the forefront of much of the research into tea tree oil and utilise funding from ATTIA and RIRDC for many of the projects undertaken over the past 10 years.

You can access the ATTIA maintained database of published and unpublished literature of research on TTO  HERE. There are more than 1, 300 documents with a simple search function to assist you.

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