River Redgums

 

If you take a drive around the low lying areas of the Goulburn Broken Catchment, you will see one tree stand out from the rest; The River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis). 

Another thing that stands out is how big and old (sometimes hundreds of years) the majority of the often solitary Red Gum trees are. This leads to the thought of what will happen when these lonely souls die? They’ll certainly be a big lag in replacing them with an equally impressive substitue. 

 

A small ray of hope lies with the abundance of little seedlings in and around mature Red Gum trees that are popping up. A Red Gum forest can produce 250 million seeds per hectare. However, these need appropriate conditions. Seeds generally fall around spring and summer and germinate before the hot conditions and take root strongly enough before winter floods come around. This pattern of flooding has changed somewhat with lower rainfall years and water regulation. Clearly the last few years have been kinder. The recent flooding would have certainly killed juvenile Red Gums in some areas but there is still plenty hanging on. Lets hope for a little more ‘normailty’ in conditions to keep favouring the mighty Red Gums. Some of the best examples of this I’ve seen is along the Killingworth Rd

Redgum juveniles (2ish yrs) underneath a mature tree in a flooded billabong
 
 

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