Not a fan of Gum trees

A Forum for discussion of non-native trees and shrubs. Topics related to trees and shrubs normally used to provide fruit should be posted under 'Fruit & Produce' Forum. (Where known, topics related to Australian native trees and shrubs should be posted in that Forum).

Moderators: Forum_mod, Pam, Sam, enrico, Shotgun Paul.

Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby mobz » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:19 pm

Does anyone around here share my distaste of gum trees? I find them unattractive and they become quite a pest in winter when they constantly shed their limbs and branches. In summer, they don't offer much shade and end up looking so haggard. I am currently in the process of having a big old one removed from my front garden.
mobz
Weeder
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:14 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby Woko » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:41 pm

Quite the contrary, mobz, & I find it such a shame that you would consider removing one, especially on old one. Many species of native birds, bats & possums rely on hollows in old gum trees for breeding & shelter. They all contribute to our biodiversity on which our economy & our very existence depends.

But it doesn't stop there. Those leaves & branches, along with twigs, provide wonderful habitat for other wildlife as well as a variety of mushrooms. They also suppress weeds. And in winter their dropped leaves are considerably less slippery for pedestrians than those of introduced trees. Further, their leaves don't pollute our waterways as do the fast-decaying leaves of introduced trees which provide a rush of nutrients at the end of winter causing putrification & loss of aquatic wildlife.

And then there are the wonderful aromas supplied by gum trees plus the magical sounds of cicadas & other bugs, especially in summer.

If gum trees are looking haggard in summer then it could well be that they are stressed by over-population of lerps which, in turn, is often related to the absence of predators to keep them under control, predators (such as pardalotes & thornbills) which depend on small hollows in mature gums & native understorey for breeding. It's also possible that a gum which is haggard in summer is the wrong species, hence the importance of planting indigenous gums wherever possible.

Folk with gum trees in their gardens are fortunate indeed to be adding a different & exciting dimension to their gardens, a stark contrast with what I find to be the relative sterility of non-Australian gardens where few native birds sing. Those who are fortunate enough to have an ecological perspective of their gardens, especially in a world where natural ecologies are continually being devastated, will benefit from observing the wonderfully complex & beautiful relationships which exist between the various elements which they encourage. Gum trees are a marvellous aspect of this process.
User avatar
Woko
Curator
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:14 pm
Location: South Mt Lofty Ranges

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby Pam » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:18 am

plus the magical sounds of cicadas


What?

One or two maybe, but a whole colony can be deafening (and annoying.)

I love my gum trees, but there are definitely places in suburbia where planting them (or the majority of them) is not appropriate.
User avatar
Pam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 14418
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:06 pm
Location: Bundaberg, Qld

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby abwal » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:05 am

I agree, mobz, that large-growing gums have no place in suburban gardens. Falling branches are dangerous enough at any time and during storms, these huge trees can become killers.

I do not consider gums to be ugly. In fact - in the right place - I find them quite attractive.
Gardening is sharing.
User avatar
abwal
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 8458
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:17 pm
Location: Bundaberg Qld (Sub-tropical)

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby Woko » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:27 pm

Perhaps it's rather a question of whether houses should be built next to old gum trees. In Mt Barker, SA, I note that developers continue to build houses on what was once gum-studded agriculture land. Whenever a gum tree loses a branch & hits a house or shed it's the gum tree that cops the criticism, not to mention the chainsaw, not the developer or the house buyer. There was even a kindergarten built almost under a row of old gum trees near Mt Barker. As I recall the gum trees were removed, not the kindergarten relocated. In my opinion this is reprehensible because our fast-disappearing natural environment shoudn't be held to account because of poor decision making by humans.
User avatar
Woko
Curator
 
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:14 pm
Location: South Mt Lofty Ranges

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby bubba louie » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:01 pm

There's so many types of gums that I think it would be hard to hate them all. It's a matter of the right one in the right place.
“Just living is not enough... One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
Hans Christian Andersen
User avatar
bubba louie
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 6803
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:23 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby greg.l » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:27 pm

One problem with gums is they have a lot of insect pests which attack them - the insects have had a long time to perfect their attack. generally exotic trees don't have so much problem with insects. I find that Eucalypts can tolerate all the insects and will eventually become large attractive trees, but lots of people get put off when the chrissy beetles and spitfires remove all the leaves off young trees.
When you are choosing between exotic Eucalytps and other exotic trees, you should just choose whatever is right for your preference and situation. Choosing indigenous Eucalypts is more of an ecological choice - wanting to support the local ecosystem. I find many birds are just as happy with exotics as indigenous plants, but there are invertebrates and other animals which rely on indigenous plants. There are some very attractive eucalypts, I have a snow gum which is very beautiful.
greg.l
Gardening Sage
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:48 pm
Location: Bathurst

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby Pam » Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:55 am

Perhaps it's rather a question of whether houses should be built next to old gum trees.


No, that's a different question altogether, and commonsense suggests you just don't do that. Councils are slowly introducing bylaws regarding the distance from a new building that trees must be. In many cases though that does mean that beautiful old trees are removed .

The vast majority of eucalypts I have seen for sale in nurseries are totally unsuitable for small suburban backyards, and this is certainly NOT restricted to eucalypts. Too many people seem to simply like the picture they see on the plant label and buy based on that alone, without giving thought to the eventual height of the tree, which is often greatly understated on the label.
User avatar
Pam
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 14418
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 1:06 pm
Location: Bundaberg, Qld

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby Keo » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:06 pm

I agree with Woko. They are beautiful and unique looking trees that provide a lot. Whilst I can understand people not thinking they are suitable in suburban gardens I disagree. Eucs and all big trees definitely have a place in our gardens. They are one of the most fantastic features you can put into your yard. I think a perfect example is the Dandenong ranges in eastern Victoria. The mountain ash is our biggest tree but when you go through sections where the houses are built in amongst them with the natural vegetation surrounding as well, it is absolutely magical. However there are sections in the ranges where people have cleared out the Mountain Ash and just planted out the typical "popular flowering" plants and you can't tell the difference between driving there or in any plain old boring suburb, it is totally ruined. You just need to make sure your insurance is up to date and play a little russian roulette :twisted:
Keo
Groundsperson
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:46 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby Tropicgardener » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:53 pm

Speaking for the area where I live.....large gum trees have no place with the small suburban blocks that are around these days. You may not mind the impact one will potentially have on your property but your neighbours certainly will........This area is also subject to occasional tropical cyclone activity, gum trees are the first to come down. You won't never find me planting a large growing Eucalypt or Corymbia in any small yard......but having said that I am looking at relocating to the Whitsunday area (high cyclone area) and one of the acreage properties I am looking at has a number of very large gum trees but they are well away from the house so won't be a problem.
Tropicgardener
Senior Curator
 
Posts: 657
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:15 pm
Location: Airlie Beach....Whitsunday Region, Tropical Queensland

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby Keo » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:00 pm

I must admit I would probably think twice if I lived in a cyclone area as well. Down here we only occasionally get very strong winds. Mostly Eucs drop limbs (not trunks) and good proactive pruning gets rid of most of the real problems. But even when you don't prune for whatever reason (cost or laziness etc), generally a limb won't take out much more than a fence or some smaller plants and it won't happen all that often. The wildlife that will move into the new hollow however will be more than enough payment in return for a few small repairs.
Keo
Groundsperson
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:46 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby Handed » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:52 am

There are hundreds of species of Eucalypts, not all shed badly just as not all dogs have the same shedding problems. Anyway, it's called 'self-mulching', and if the soil fungi are in good health they will break it down quicker, but in our suburban gardens this is rarely the case.
Handed
Cultivator
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:24 am
Location: Armidale

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby bo_gas » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:20 am

Personally I love the look of them on the landscape when travelling around SA

But, in the backyard I hate them!

I have a Japanese Maple growing near a gum I have down the back and the gum is holding it from growing, burns it with its oil.

It also stops any grass from growing and the matter it drops (Nuts, bark) is crazy.

Plus, it almost killed me whilst chopping one of the branches hahaha
Please check out my blog - has everything Jap Maple, Recycling & Richmond Tigers!!

http://bogasthoughts.blogspot.com.au/
bo_gas
Weeder
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:20 am
Location: Adelaide

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby Wollemi » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:56 pm

I attended a meeting in Springwood last week. For instructions and advice on lodging a DA, amongst other issues pertaining to rebuilding post fires here in Springwood area. A young guy briefly asked when will permission be granted to clear land - surely housing is more important than a 'few trees'. Quite a few of the 300 or so people in attendance clapped him.
In the meantime, I shall keep planting out my front yard - I have often said that Winmalee is hotter than hell, and I wish for the shade that the 5 Eucs and 2 Casuarinas (planted in 2006) do, and will continue, to give.
Wollemi
Weeder
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:20 am
Location: lwr Blue Mts

Re: Not a fan of Gum trees

Postby greg.l » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:13 pm

It wouldn't be winmalee without the trees. That part of the Blue Mts has always been vulnerable to fires, built along long treed ridgelines. The most important thing is to make houses non-combustible, and to follow sensible practices like keeping the area around the house free of flammable material. The fires come every ten years but by then everyone forgets the risk.
greg.l
Gardening Sage
 
Posts: 1032
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:48 pm
Location: Bathurst


Return to Trees & Shrubs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron