Thursday, July 27, 2017

The 'Library Tree'

Drouin's most significant Ironbark tree is located at the rear of the library and right now is well in flower and attracting a variety of honeyeaters.

Ironbarks, E. sideroxylon/tricarpa(?), are not especially indigenous to West Gippsland. The 'library tree' however is quite large, (30m tall, 3m girth), and if not a remnant, it was certainly planted early in the life of Drouin.

Ironbarks are high value trees – landscaping, wildlife habitat, high-grade, strong and durable timber, tolerant of drought and low-grade soils, high nectar producers, etc.

The Box-Ironbark forests in central Victoria are highly protected. There are some small remnant stands of Ironbark in the Maffra-Heyfield area of Central Gippsland and further east around Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance.

Can you remember reading or being read "The Iron Bark Chip" by Henry Lawson? One of my favourite Australian stories. You can read it or re-read it here, LINK.

Red Ironbarks have characteristic persistent black and deeply furrowed bark – which acts as an excellent insulation during bushfires – red, pink or white flowers that bloom during Winter. Many authorities regard the species as ideal street and parkland trees.

Such a valuable sentinel.

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