Fine examples of shade trees
This month as part of Wimmera Landcare’s monthly Trees of the Wimmera series we have two fantastic examples of shade trees.
One of them is Adrian and Susan Bone’s magnificent yellow box, Eucalyptus melliodora, on the couple’s Laharum property.
These trees are usually found on lower slopes and plains on alluvial soils and have small, creamy-white flowers in groups of seven.
Flowering is from September to February, often heavier every second year.
Yellow box generally grow from 15 to 30 metres high with a spreading, moderately open crown and variable bark.
The flaky bark is fibrous, light yellow-brown, often whorled or running diagonally and becoming darker and shaggy with age. The upper limbs are a smooth cream-yellow in colour.
They make great shade and shelter trees that are a valuable wildlife habitat, providing refuge, nesting sites and food for a wide range of native birds, insects, possums and bats.
Their growth can be fairly slow. The wood is hard, dense, heavy, extremely durable and termite resistant. The timber has been used in heavy construction and for poles, firewood and specialty timber.
Yellow box is considered to be the best native tree for honey production. The honey produced has a great golden colour, excellent taste and valuable keeping qualities.
In the early days in the Wimmera, honey production was quite a big industry and yellow box sites were much sought after.
Yellow box honey has now become a recognised brand – often not pure but a blend of other types with yellow box added for its colour and recognised ‘keeping’ properties.
Phil Hall’s beautiful red gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, on Seven Mile Creek at East Concongella is another example of an outstanding shade tree.
Phil said the tree had been ‘beautifully manicured’ by sheep.
Red gum offers excellent shade and shelter and provides an important role in stabilising soil, especially on stream banks and paddocks. The trees are widespread across the Wimmera.
The next monthly competition is for the best ‘Treehouse Tree’ and the tree can be of any species. The cut off for entries is February 24.
People can check out our ‘Trees of the Wimmera’ Facebook page, where photos and stories can be viewed or sent.
Photos and stories can also be posted or delivered to Bronwyn Bant at email@example.com. au; Lisa Oliver at Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org; Ray Zippel at email@example.com or delivered or posted to Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, 24 Darlot Street, Horsham, 3400.
SHADE: Adrian and Susan Bone’s yellow box on their Laharum property.