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Allocasuarina sp. all the way.
FYI Barbara Ficifolia is not an eucalypt. It is actually Corymbia ficifolia. It does not habitually drop limbs. Only Eucalypts make a habit of dropping limbs in times of stress because of an evolutionary trait known as Compartmentalisation. This means the tree selects a limb that is not required then compartmentalises it. It cuts off the nutrient supply to that limb causing it to die and fall off. It can also happen because of parasite or bug attack.
Yes I'm well aware of the botanical roots of the Ficafolia, in fact I have almost 60 of them in my road plantation and a further dozen or so near our work shed and one single grafted "red" specimen in my lawn.
As for most common gums, my dislike of their habits is largly due to the effects that they have on our farming pastures, speaking from experience.
Their water needs are so great, or perhaps it would be better to describe them as superior survivors but to the detriment of pastures for stock as they manage to prevent any pasture growth for a ridiculous distance around each tree and if there is a plantation of them, the baren soil is very visible and can cover many acres.
One interesting thing though, is that the Red River Gum doesn't seem to use this survival tactic, their roots must go further down "deep" rather than than out and "shallow" hence the grass does grow under these majestic trees, of which we have many specimens dotted arount our neck of the woods, pardon the pun!!
When it comes to surbubia though, gums make a splendid specimen too, when the lack of grass is a blessing as far as mowing might go and they look amazing in a park for example.
I think unfortunately, these huge trees are grown in inappropriate places at times and when and if either a branch or heaven forbid an entire tree comes crashing down, the destruction is enormous!!
Gudday again Barbara. Farming down here in the SW of Vic the gums still in the paddocks never had that effect, nor plantations. So I'm really interested in your experience. Other than Red Gums what other gums do you have? Our most common local species our Eucalyptus ovata, Eucalyptus viminalis and Eucalyptus obliqua with some less common varieties like peppermint gum, stringy bark and brown stringy bark and hybrids of all those varieties.
You've got me now, I have no idea what species everyone has planted in their plantations where I live, which is also SW Vic but mostly the ones I know of, are the sugar gums.
Many years ago we grew ryegrass varieties specifically for seed companies, over 1000 acres and we were most aware of this anomoly when we watched the seed stop coming into the header along ALL the gum tree plantations and it was very visible too but beside Cypress plantations, we had the heaviest crops always.!!!
Some farmers take to using a ripper periodically along gum plantations to arrest the spread of the root system without any harm to the gums.
By law of my husband, I wouldn't be allowed to plant anything but a flowering gum ha-ha
It depends where I am. Southern Australia...any gum tree will do. North...frangipannis every time. Kimberly....boabs. Fiji...love breadfruit trees. Africa...give me an acacia. Every tree has its' place. Love em all.
I would like a boab tree one day but they are slow to grow I think.
I have quite a few bottle trees and although a different species to the Boab, they still have a lovely bottle shape with the most sutnning being the Brachychiton acerifolium “Illawarra Flame Tree” I have quite a few varieties of this tree dotted around my garden including Discolor which has a prety pale pink flower, the Kurrajong which is cream and I also have Rupestris but I 'm not sure of flower colour on it, as I haven't had any yet but all these trees do have quite a unique bottle shape.
Just do a google search, the red on the Flame tree is incredible. I have 5 up my driveway so I can't wait till they eventually do their thing, even though they have already had the odd flower, they haven't yet done a full leaf drop and flower.
Thanks Barbara I will look into it, I can't quite allocate a spot for them but looking to be inspired to do so, thanks :-)
You're welcome LouieT!!
I know what you mean about running out of space or simply not having anymore room for anything else.
A picture of my Moreton Bay Fig. At the left is my Flame Tree, in front are a Gymea Lily and a Spear Lily . The fig will be twenty years old next year. The Flame Tree was in the garden here when we moved , but it was too close to the pool, so we dug it up and moved it to this position (it was a lot smaller when we moved it!).
So sorry that you had to experience such danger not once but twice.
I can't agree that gums are shallow rooted though, at least not from my point of view with the experience I mentioned in my earlier post but I suspect the reason these trees come down as they do, is that the wind blowing in the top can have a pretty strong effecxt on stability and once they start rocking, down they go but also if the ground is rocky for example and the roots can't go down deep enough, that too can cause these trees to topple as well.
That said, I do agree with you that gum trees are indeed "widow makers" and I wouldn't want to have one close to my home- period!!