Frederick Manson Bailey worked with the Acclimatisation Society, collecting plants for its exchange network and its garden. The colonial project involved the importation of plants and animals, many of them becoming pests in the Australian landscape, but along with biota, acclimatisers imported international ideas about the human relationship with nature. Concerned about the perceived effect of forest clearing on future timber resources, erosion, rainfall and shade, acclimatisers took up the cause of forest conservancy. Bailey did not accept that forest cover affected climate, but advocated the wise stewardship of timber. He collected data on Queensland trees, publishing their names and descriptions. He displayed their timbers in the Museum of Economic Botany and international exhibitions. His membership of a government agency studying indigenous grass cover started a lifetime of study of Queensland grasses. As Colonial Botanist, Bailey managed a network of specimen collectors, and, with the help of colleagues in Australia and abroad, named and published Queensland plants.