Diary of a Red Gum – April & May 2015

April and May have been quiet months for our red gum, sustaining the developing bud and fruit crops which formed in the summer. The tree is no longer shedding large quantities of bark, or any stray limbs, in spite of some stormy days. There has been a continual small but steady rain of debris from the tree, small clusters of buds, or clusters of closed mature fruit. These open to shed their seeds within hours of falling from the tree. Most of the buds and closed mature fruit are retained on the tree, slowly developing towards maturity in November. That’s when the buds will flower and the fruit will open and shed large quantities of seed.

fallen twig with both buds and fruit

fallen twig with both buds and fruit


The process of dropping small numbers of fruit throughout the year means that a few seedlings could generate all year round, if they land on bare moist soil. However, most seed will fall in the early summer, released directly from the tree canopy at a time when local conditions are most likely to give the best chance of large numbers of seedlings germinating and surviving. Recent rains will help to ensure that most of the buds and fruit will be retained on the tree and a significant crop will reach maturity.
small fallen twig with buds

small fallen twig with buds


as soon as mature fruit breaks off from the tree, the valves open to release seeds

as soon as mature fruit breaks off from the tree, the valves open to release seeds

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About redgumgirl

Dr Anne Jensen is an environmental consultant with a passionate interest in sustainable management of our natural resources, particularly the River Murray and wetland environments. She is particularly interested in using photographs and stories to explain issues around water and protecting natural ecosystems in terms that are understood by the wider community, so that we can manage our environment sustainably for our common future.
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