Following the disappointing flower crop in November and December, the red gum on our footpath produced a strong bud crop for the New Year, raising hopes of strong flowering in late 2016. In early January, the tree followed the expected pattern of dropping old leaves, shedding bark and putting on new leaves, looking very healthy.
However, in addition to the normal shedding of small twigs and clumps of buds, it was a rude shock to find another branch fallen in late January. More branches fell in February, March and April, reaching a total of eight branches which have dropped from this tree since March 2015. Luckily none of them have hit any cars or pedestrians. It is hard to understand why the tree should continue to shed branches, as it is only 30 years old and is not water-stressed, with a consistent water supply, probably from the sewer. It has a healthy canopy of leaves and a dense crop of buds, and shows no visible signs of stress. The question now is, whether the buds will survive to flower next summer, or will more branches and twigs fall, taking the buds with them. The diary will have to continue to find out!