The now New Zealand piece of the once great southern continent Gondwanaland drafted south before the Australian eucalypts evolved, but did, and still does, host a eucalypt ancestor, the Metrosideros trees, including the pohutukawa, or New Zealand Christmas Tree, plus the Northern and Southern rātā trees. So, no eucalypts (or snakes) made it onto the New Zealand as Gondwanaland fragmented – all those millions of years ago.
Talking about rātā trees, hidden in the Akatarawa Forest, near New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington, is one of the country’s best kept tree secrets – reported as a living… Read more “Akatarawa giant rātā – a secret New Zealand tree treasure”
The only surviving eucalypts from the natural forest in the garden are two twin red gums perched up on the cliff behind the Opera House on the Bennelong lawn. No doubt they were mere saplings in 1788 when the 11 tall, wooden ships of the First Fleet arrived in Sydney. Incredibly, this Bennelong twins alone have survived so close to the city. Referring to them, Ashley Hay (Gum, 2002 Duffy & Snellgrove, Potts Point, NSW, Australia.) wrote:
The view from [its] crown began to change from the canopies of other eucalypts growing along the land’s ridges and streams, from clear distance running
… Read more “Red gums sentinels to First Fleet arrival”
Considering that Australia is the home of the gum tree, compared with other countries, we have been slow in planting our own eucalypts in tree plantations. Although more than 14 million hectares of gum trees have been planted across the world.
Eucalypts account for more than 70 per cent of the trees in Australia’s natural forests and woodlands, growing in a wide range of climates from the hot tropics to near-desert inland plains to alpine snowfields. Evolving from rainforest ancestors, eucalypts have adapted to an environment where nutrient-poor soils are common and a dry environment has become… Read more “Gum tree – world’s most successful tree”