Diary of a Red Gum – June & July 2015

mature fruit knocked off the tree by winter storms

mature fruit knocked off the tree by winter storms


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.
a second small branch fell from the top of the tree

a second small branch fell from the top of the tree


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.
fallen mature fruit with brown valves ready to burst open and release seed

fallen mature fruit with brown valves ready to burst open and release seed

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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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