An appreciation of Eucalyptus Cladocalyx, the Sugar Gum

Sometimes I travel in and out of the city through the parklands.  My favourite part of the route (when travelling on bike or on foot)  is this pathway lined with sugar gums.  They are yet to reach their full height but they are still impressive, majestic and beautiful trees.

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The City of Adelaide is famously circled by parks.  In our harsh summers, the parklands become dry and brown well before summer reaches its height. You can see in this image that the crisping of the parklands has begun already. The trees branch too high for me to be able to photograph the canopy, but this branch had fallen and dried.

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Friends have spent months of the last year trying to save an avenue of sugar gums  that are twice this size, at least, and much older.  Our campaign to save them succeeded, but the sugar gums are growing along a railway line that is being electrified and a few days ago they were scheduled to be ‘pruned’ in a way that will render them lopsided amputees.  I am glad the railway is being electrified (it is diesel powered now, polluting and unsustainable).  Its impact on local trees is less welcome.  I haven’t been able to bear to go and look yet.  It was a huge achievement to save those trees and I am hoping the pruning has not been too brutal.  And that this avenue of trees in the parklands will stand tall for decades, or even better, centuries to come.

Oh, and have I mentioned the silk moths?

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4 Comments

Filed under Eucalypts, Neighbourhood pleasures

4 responses to “An appreciation of Eucalyptus Cladocalyx, the Sugar Gum

  1. ARGGHH…tree “butchers”. The electric utilities here are the worst. They mangle trees along power lines and when the weakened things go in storms and take out the lines they use it as an excuse to butcher more. But the silk moth is beautiful.

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  2. the electricity is derived from coal so the only difference is that it won’t smell at the railway line…just in Port Augusta where the power stations are. i’m constantly horrified by the way trees are “pruned” in South Australia. the beautiful allee planted by Robert Melrose in the 1930s in Mount Pleasant is now but a row of armless cripples. and the pointless roadside butchery throughout the Mount Loft Ranges intended to reduce fire hazards has to be seen to be believed. as a survivor of the 1983 fires i can categorically state the Hills will burn again, it’s not “if” but “when” and no amount of roadside trimming will stop it. might as well just enjoy the trees while they still stand…

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    • I take your points… and agree we have a lot to learn about fire management in this country. I am glad you made it through in 1983! And I agree, the hills will burn again–and with inaction on climate change, the likelihood rises and rises. I’ve taken the 350.org pledge to take action on climate change…

      On coal fired electricity, though, let me put the optimistic case for a moment. My family are from Port Augusta and I remember the previous power stations and the filth they dropped on the whole town only too well. I don’t think we in the rest of the state and the city in particular should have clean air but Port Augusta should be treated differently. One of the current stations is among the worst in the country, burning dirty coal–it is not defensible.

      But–that station is scheduled to be replaced. When it is, it will be held to higher standards which will render electricity for the whole state (and not just trains) less polluting. To the extent that we can get renewables into generation, electric trains will run with less and less pollution required. I am part of the campaign for solar thermal to replace coal powered at PtA. Diesel trains don’t stand to be improved in this way so far as I can tell, and it is clear standing on my front porch that trains in this state and country are not being maintained at a level that would minimise the smoke they send out.

      So there you have it. A little burst of optimism.

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