Broad-leaved Red Ironbark – Eucalyptus fibrosa
Width – 1.5 meters, Girth – 4.0 meters
This extra-large broad-leaved red ironbark has thick outer bark which helps protect the tree from moderate fire activity.
Saplings and juvenile trees are killed by the heat from moderate fires whilst mature trees benefit from fire. Fire helps seed capsules pop open and clears existing ground vegetation so new seeds can germinate.
In the picture below you can see evidence of fire on most of the blackened bark with a small section of unburnt bark several meters above the ground.
There also some fibrosa saplings to the back right of the mature tree. They are the large leaved saplings about 4 feet (120 cm) tall. These would have germinated or coppiced after the last wildfire in 2013.
Ironbark species produce good quality honey with the narrow leaved ironbark producing very high quality honey.
The timber from the red ironbark is renowned for its hardness and durability out in the weather. It doesn’t do so well in the ground for fence posts unless it’s treated first.
This species is often found in harsher conditions on poorer soils and grows to a large tree despite ordinary growing conditions. It grows to heights between 15 to 35 meters. Timber reserves like Bunyaville State Forest and Daisy Hill State Forest were put aside originally in the late 1800’s to use this particular species for building railway lines. The timber was used for railway sleepers.
This species has high habitat value for native birds, insects and mammals, including koalas. There’s not too many fibrosa’s left with a girth of this size. Most would have been selected for sawn logs.
Plunkett has a high diversity of Ironbark species with at least four:
- Eucalyptus crebra (narrow-leaved ironbark),
- dura (gum-topped ironbark),
- siderphloia (grey ironbark) and
- fibrosa (broad-leaved ironbark).
Planchon’s Stringybark – Eucalyptus planchioniana
Width – 1.6 meters , Girth – 4.0 meters
This planchon’s stringybark (also known in NSW as the needlebark stringybark or bastard tallowwood) has done quite well for itself growing on shallow Plunkett sands.
Generally planchon’s stringybarks in this area are a small tree with poor form and can be stunted due to harsh growing conditions. In the picture below you can see the trees in the background are all quite small in comparison. This particular specimen has found a good spot to put on some size.
This tree has loads of habitat value for native wildlife with lots of small hollows which make good homes for feather tailed gliders.
Planchon’s stringybarks are generally found in sandstone or heath country South of Brisbane.
The seedpods of this species are easy to identify due to their very large size and ribbed appearance.