Eucalypts are one of Australia’s iconic tree groups, it’s rare to find an area (outside of rainforests and treeless plains) that doesn’t have at least one representative.  The Upper Hunter area (Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook Local Government Areas) is no exception with over 50 Eucalypts and close relatives (Corymbia, Angophora).  Eucalypts in this region range in height from a couple of metres to 50-60m tall or more and play a very important ecological roles, providing nectar for birds, bats and insects, leaves for koalas and possums and nesting sites for myriads of creatures and in some areas play host to a myriad of epiphytic plants. Eucalypts have been exploited for their timber being used for construction, cabinetry, tool handles, oils, woodchip and firewood.  Bark types and gumnuts (or “fruit”) are a handy way of determining which group a Eucalypt belongs to.

Eucalyptus camaldulensis

River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), rounded fruits with exerted valves, typical of the Red Gums and Grey Gums

Stringybark

Stringybark, often with rounded fruits and enclosed valves (though often a lot of variation in this group).

Corymbia maculata

Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata), “urn” shaped fruit typical of the bloodwoods (Corymbia spp.)

Angophora floribunda

Rough Barked Apple (Angophora floribunda) fruits with prominent ribs and crown, typical of the Angophoras

Eucalyptus melliodora

Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora) cup/wine glass shaped fruit typical of the boxes and ironbarks

Content by Paul Melehan