Through the cold and windy months of June and July, the red gum in our street quietly sustained itself, allowing the bud and fruit crops to develop to maturity. However, there was a steady stream of small debris raining from the tree, including hundreds of individual fruit swept down by winter storm fronts and gusty winds. The footpath was covered with a carpet of small, hard, round, very annoying fruit.
Another small top branch dropped in July, luckily without any damage. Small branches, sticks and twigs added to the natural litter on the footpath. It appeared that the fallen seed was already mature enough to germinate, with drying brown valves in the centre of the green fruit ready to burst open. Normally, the fruit remains on the tree and the valves remain closed until a major release when conditions are most likely to be favourable for germination (serotiny). For this particular tree, the timing for peak seed fall is expected to be November, one year after flowering. Time will tell whether that will happen, and how many fruit will survive to shed their seed.