Went to Nelson at the top end of New Zealand’s South Island recently to visit my brother Lawrie. While there we hunted out the locally well-known Barrington Gum.
It’s an Australian mountain ash (Eucalyptus regans) thought to have been planted on then open farm land about 1860. It is now embedded within a radiata pine plantation. The tree was officially measured in 2009 and at that time had a height of 72.1 metres and a diameter of 2.4 metres. The tree is listed in the New Zealand Tree Register at: www.notabletrees.org.nz.
The impressive mountain ash forests of the state of Victoria in Australia are for height, size and grandeur, unequalled among the world’s hardwood trees, and surpassed in size only by some confers on the west coast of North America.
In their home state of Victoria, mountain ash inhabits moist hilly regions where it clothes the foothills and mountains of the Great Dividing Range. There is grows as a continuous tract of more than 200,000 hectares. The tree is at its most impressive when growing in pure stands, but it frequently includes other species, such as manna gum, messmate and mountain grey gum.
It also grows extremely well in the warm, moist climate of the top end of New Zealand’s South Island where it is frequently seen as a large, dominant ornamental tree.