Give me a home among the gum trees.

Storm-damaged crown, Victorian Blue Gum.

This big, old Victorian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus ssp bicostata) has seen a bit of weather. Most of its large limbs have been torn off by howling southerlies, but it keeps putting out new branches and making a solid contribution to the forest it’s part of. Early on we discovered that this Blue Gum was home to several of the Greater Gliders (Petauroides volans) that live in this part of the forest and most likely home to other possum and glider species as well.

Its diameter at breast height is getting on to 2 m and its probably 40 m tall, though may have been taller in the past. The trunk is totally hollow for many meters above its hollowed-out base and the inside shows signs of fire, though there have been no recorded fires here since before 1939’s Black Friday bushfires. There’s no knowing how old the tree is, but I’d guess a good 150 years.

And recently its developed a long crack in the dead wood on its southern side. There’s not much holding the tree up anymore and I’m worried that the crack will make the tree that much more unstable in the next high wind. I’m hoping those Greater Gliders aren’t home when it comes down. Even so, there are very few trees in the forest of this size, so when it goes the forest will be losing a valuable resource. I hope it hangs on for a while yet.

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