Wheatbelt Tree Species

salmon gums

Salmon Gum (Euc. salmonophloia)

The most widespread tree in the Wheatbelt, it is also one of the most majestic. It was named by the first settlers due to the colour of its smooth bark. Known to be an indicator of good heavy soil, the salmon gum open woodland was extensively cleared in the early days. Growing up to 25 metres, the salmon gum is one of the largest of the wheatbelt eucalypts but has one of the smallest fruits. It has fine dense grained timber that is now used for flooring and panelling.

Gimlet (Euc salubris)

This medium sized eucalypt has a very attractive fluted, copper or khaki coloured trunk. It is very frost resistant and salt tolerant and is grown throughout the world. It preference for rich loamy soils resulted in large stands being cleared for farming.

Morrel (e.g Euc. longicornis – Red Morrel.)

Morrel’s are also a tall tree of the Wheatbelt woodlands favouring loamy soils. They are distinguished by the rough bark over most of the tree giving it a somber appearance compared to the Gimlet and Salmon Gum. They produce a good honey flow when flowering between December to March.

York Gum (Euc.loxophelba)

A rough barked straggly, many branched tree often found in association with Jam tree. This tree has very tough wood and is a good nectar producer. It is distinguished by rough dark bark on the trunk and lower branches and smooth upper limbs in its wide crown.

Inland White Gum (Euc. capopilla)

A medium sized to tall tree that sheds its bark rich in tannins in autumn to expose a white to orangey cream trunk that is not as smooth as the salmon gum or gimlet. If undisturbed the bark litter at the base can accumulate to a considerable depth and is a favoured habitat of some orchid species that make use of the increased runoff from the trunk and the moist conditions.

Merrit (Euc.flocktoniae)

A small tree with smooth white bark and a dark green crown. It has clusters of flowers with pendulous urn shaped fruits. The town of Merredin is named after this tree whose common name was given to it by the Aboriginal people.

Mallee Species

This is a loose term to cover those trees that develop underground stems and many branched trunks. They commonly occur in thickets on sandy loam or as shrubs in heath land. They produce massive clusters of flowers that attract insects and birds such as honeyeaters and nectar feeding lorikeets e.g. Euc. erythronema

Jam Tree (Acacia acuminata)

The tree form of this wattle is one of the tallest wattle species in the area. A very common plant it is found on loamy soils, often in the vicinity of granite outcrops and in association with York Gum and Sheoak (Casuarina) trees. The under-story is often native grasses and everlastings. There is also a scrub form of the jam tree found on poorer soils.

When the timber is freshly cut it smells of raspberry jam- hence the common name. The timber is hard and durable with a rich brown colour with a yellow core and is often used for decorative wood turning. It was a common component of fencing in the early days as jam posts were resistant to white ants. It is covered in yellow blossoms from mid July through the spring months.

Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)

The fragrant timber of this tree gave it a great ecomomic importance in the early days of settlement. Sandalwood cutters were some of the first pioneers into many parts of the Wheatbelt. The tree rarely has a tidy appearance unlike its near relation the Quandong (Santalum acuminatum). An easy way to distinguish the two trees is by their nuts. The sandal wood nut is brown and under the flesh the nut is smooth. The Quandong has pitted nuts and bright red fruit. Both trees are parasitic and require host plants, often Acacia sp. to develop.

 

 


1 Comment

Lucky Me – Lucky Bay in WA | The Snail Trail

April 23, 2014at 12:10 pm

[…] with an overnight stop at Salmon Gums. (NO phone, NO internet). It is named after the beautiful salmon gum trees in the area.This is a small community run caravan park with hot showers, clean amenities, some […]