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A Comprehensive Guide To Gum Trees In Australia

Gum trees belong to the Myrtle (Myrtaceae) family of plants and they are the soul of Australian flora. The range of gum trees out spreads from sub-alpine areas to wet coastal woodlands, moderate forests, and the dry inland. Almost all gum trees are native to Australia, however, over time, they have been grown in many tropical regions around the world and even some species can be cultivated in cooler places.

As a tree removal business, we have to educate ourselves and others on all types of trees, so we can keep ourselves and community safe.

Gum trees have reckoned their significance because they exude visible quantities of thick, gummy sap out of their trunk surface when they are cut or sustain any type of damage. Needless to mention, gum trees have become a common name for eucalypts in Australia, however, every eucalyptus is not necessarily a gum tree.

Gum trees are of 12 distinct species and they have the affinity to grow fast. Gum trees can cultivate even through very tough conditions and have an average lifespan of about 100 years with more than 50 percent of their growth attained within the first 10 years of their life.

Gum trees are easily recognizable by their stingy or smooth bark and gums form the primary food of koalas in Australia. The light yellow-brown bark of gum trees is deciduous and the leaves are dark-green, glossy with a thick and leathery touch. The leaves on the older branches of gum trees are curved, lance-like, and usually hung vertically.

Let us dive deeper into understanding more about gum trees as you might want to consider planting one in your backyard:

Tips On Growing And Protecting A Gum Tree

Gum trees add up to the overall attraction of your backyard. Having a stimulating bark with stunning flowers, an attractive fragrance, and that lovely foliage. Gums are fast-breeding trees, and depending on their species they attain a height between 30 to 160 feet or even more.

Planting A Gum Tree

It is always a step ahead to consider your home environment, the challenges of the existing plants, and the space you have before you want to plant a gum tree in your backyard. More so, it is crucial to have the right species of gum in the available environment.

Gum tree care is not difficult but to put lesser efforts into the future maintenance and the quantum of fertilizers needed for the better growth of the tree, you may employ the services of a professional arborist to determine these challenges.

After having a thorough check on the above you may consider picking one among the below most fascinating and common types of gum trees:

Red Flowering Gum (Eucalyptus ficifolia)

Sydney Red Gum (Angophora costata)

Large-fruited Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp)

Argyle Apple (Eucalyptus cinerea)

Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)

Plunkett Mallee (Eucalyptus curtisii)

Positioning The Gum Tree

Positioning your gum tree at the justified spot is the key factor that can determine the growth of the plant. Trees require a growing space which is always overlooked while planting a tree. The poor placement of your gum tree can ultimately run into root problems with underground power lines and plumbing. Also, before you plant a tree, it is vital to have an assessment of the tree’s maturity height, root space, and the spread of its crown.

Selecting the right spot for your gum tree would eliminate the undesired competition with other trees and plants in your backyard space for nutrients, water, and sunlight.

When in doubt, it is always advisable to take the consent of an expert to keep your tree in good shape and your constructions safe.

Staking Your Gum

To ensure your gum tree builds up the strength to support and stabilize itself, it is important that you hammer in a stake into the ground but away from the tree so the existing roots are not damaged. It is better to stake the tree loosely to allow some movement during winds so this little tree builds that strength against it. Keep your gum tree staked until it becomes self-supportive.

Protecting/ Mulching The Young Gum

Keeping your young tree in healthy growth, it is always a good idea to mulch it. Just applying around 8 cm thick coating is ideally good to benefit your young gum tree. You can also apply a thinner layer of mulch around the root ball to stop the loss of moisture in the soil and hold the required nutrients. Mulching is one way very effective in maintaining a consistent soil temperature and simultaneously eliminating the growth of unwanted weeds.

Watering And Manuring The Gum Tree

Once gums are established, they usually maintain themselves reasonably well. A gum tree should not require regular watering, with an exception of those getting grown in a container. Once you have watered your gum tree, you may again water it only after it has dried up. However, excessive watering may be needed during much drought. As gum trees do not appreciate phosphorus, so fertilizer may not be a necessity for their growth.

Clipping The Mature Gum

For better results, it is essential that pruning is undertaken in consultation with a professional once your gum tree is mature, young gum trees typically don’t need too much pruning. Gum trees are known for shedding bark, leaves, and branches. As its shred-like bark is much flammable, it is preferable to keep this debris cleaned up. Pruning will prevent imbalance due to the heavyweight of branches and subsequently the threat of breaking these branches off the tree.

Common Problems With Gum Trees

Gum trees despite being a great symbol of Australian flora and fauna can extremely be hazardous at times to your suburban home. Let us dive directly to explore some major reasons to ponder on whether you really would want that big old gum in your backyard or consider getting rid of it:

  1. Unexpected falling branches from gums usually result in grave injuries and sometimes tragic deaths are reported. Cars outside houses and in parking lots are crushed under falling heavy limbs of gum trees.
  2. Oily leaves and the bark that is shed by gum trees are highly inflammable. The history of destruction encountered due to bush fires is a lesson to learn from and due caution is the key.
  3. In suburban areas, gum roots can affect paths, curbs, and even sewers and pull up paved surfaces. The bigger roots and their offshoots can interrupt water pipes and blow septic tanks and cisterns. To fix such hazards you may have to incur heavy expenses sometimes.
  4. Branches of gums can be annoying when everything is messed-up with overhead electrical wires and cables. This is high-risk especially if the tree or branches are a reason to damage the electric cables, ground them and block the roads, this poses a threat of being electrocuted.

Removal Of Gum Trees

While you consider removing the gum tree, you need to have a reason for its removal. A professional can be helpful in reaching a final decision on whether a complete removal is required or simply pruning could fix the threats. If the tree needs a complete removal, never put it off under any misapprehension. The tree may be removed because it is old and dangerous, due to an aesthetic preference or it has become hazardous for the construction or the other flora of your backyard.

So, it is sometimes needed to remove your gorgeous gum tree because nothing is more treasured than getting rid of the tree that might be hazardous. Removing a big gum tree must always be undertaken only with expert tree surgeons as it is not a DIY job.

It is vital to know that the cost for removing a tree can differ from one scale of the task to the other and there cannot be a uniform cost for each removal. In certain cases, the location, sensitivity of the situation, and many other conditions also can be a major factor in determining the cost of gum tree removal.

The Final Word

While you consider removing the gum tree, you need to have a reason for its removal. A professional can be helpful in reaching a final decision on whether a complete removal is required or simply pruning could fix the threats. If the tree needs a complete removal, never put it off under any misapprehension. The tree may be removed because it is old and dangerous, due to an aesthetic preference or it has become hazardous for the construction or the other flora of your backyard.

So, it is sometimes needed to remove your gorgeous gum tree because nothing is more treasured than getting rid of the tree that might be hazardous. Removing a big gum tree must always be undertaken only with expert tree surgeons as it is not a DIY job.

It is vital to know that the cost for removing a tree can differ from one scale of the task to the other and there cannot be a uniform cost for each removal. In certain cases, the location, sensitivity of the situation, and many other conditions also can be a major factor in determining the cost of gum tree removal.