Plunkett Regional Park isn’t known for its large trees but more so for its sandstone features and flowering heath.
Many of the trees growing on the poor, shallow, soils on the elevated sandstone ridges are stunted. This smaller form could be attributed to shallow rock shelves just below the surface and/or reaction to regular wildfire activity.
The shallow soils on rock shelves can dry out quickly after rainfall which means plants have harsh conditions to grow in.
Some of the larger trees growing in the park are no match for the giant brush box growing in Lamington National Park, or other large eucalypts that grow in wet sclerophyll forests in South East Queensland. Lower annual rainfall and generally poorer soil types mean it takes a lot longer to put on some size compared to areas with richer soils and higher rainfall.
This Corymbia henryi above (large leaved spotted gum) would have been left by timber getters due to the hollow inside which devalues the log for timber saleability.
Large leaved spotted gums are close to the Northern end of their range in Brisbane with the smaller leaf variety (Corymbia citriodora subs. variegata) more common in Queensland.
This large leaved variety flowers in summer, and in a good flowering year can attract massive flocks of lorikeets by day and flying foxes by night. In a heavy flowering year it’s not unusual to see loads of flower buds lying around on the ground that have been broken off by summer storms or white cockatoos.
This old girl above (Eucalyptus microcorys) has seen better days.
It’s full of termites, has a bit of decay going on and is in serious decline. Like the spotted gum it is likely to be between 100 and 200 years old.
It’s a credit to the forestry workers that cleared the area in Wickham Timber Reserve to make way for pine plantations for leaving this tree standing. This tree would have been in a slash pine coupe but was probably left intact out of respect, due to its impressive size and age. It’s quite possible this tree was alive in the early 1800’s.
This tallowwood has a load of habitat value with a dozen or more hollows which are likely to be home to gliders and possums, parrots and other bird species, and whole host of other reptiles and insects.
It’s a pretty large tree for the area, but tallowwoods can get a lot bigger in wetter areas.
Both spotted gum and tallowwood were, and still are, prized for their building qualities. Both species produce hard timber suitable for flooring and timber framing for housing. Spotted gum is especially suited to structural framing due to its high strength qualities.
Both trees girth was measured one metre above ground height.