I’ve been working my Eucalypt identification skills overtime and discovered that there are at least 3 dark-barked (by which I mean their trunk bark is brown to grey to black) types of ironbark growing as street trees in my area. The main two seem to be E Tricarpa and E Sideroxylon, but it appears I also have E Corynodes. One of the reasons I’m feeling some confidence is because of the results I have had from the dye pot:
In order of appearance:
E Citriodora–not an ironbark, just for comparison!–(Goodwood); E Tricarpa (Goodwood); E Tricarpa (Black Forest)
E Corynodes (Black Forest); E Sideroxylon (Goodwood); E Sideroxylon (a different tree, in Goodwood)
I would have to say that the dye results are more consistent than my perception of the appearance of the trees! One happy outcome of paying more attention is that I have observed that at this time of year E Tricarpa (and some E Sideroxylons) have tiny buds in formation among the fresh young leaves, and this enables a confident identification as between them. E Tricarpa has buds grouped in threes and E Sideroxylon has buds grouped in sevens. Sometimes fruits are so high in the tree I can’t tell, and sometimes the sample I am able to reach has umbels where some fruits have broken off but I can’t be confident how many. So this discovery is a help to the person trying confidently to tell them apart–me, for instance.
E Tricarpa (see those tiny buds-in-formation?):
I need to go a little further afield to consider other variations on the theme, but for now I think I will consider wider-leafed ironbarks to be types I don’t know well, rather than assuming they are E Sideroxylon with a better supply of water and nutrients. You know what they say about assumptions!