The black box sapling that didn’t get the email!

For the drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant species black box (Eucalyptus largiflorens), normally found at higher elevations and outer edges of Murray-Darling floodplains, the accepted wisdom is that young trees need to be 20-30 years old in order to produce seed. This time-span is rather daunting for ecosystem managers trying to support recruitment in black box communities to increase their rate of replacement. So my amazing find this week is good news, even if it blasts accepted theory out of the water! On the Calperum floodplain next to Ral Ral Creek anabranch, a dense sea of river red gum saplings carpets the creek banks under majestic old river red gums. In the middle of thousands of red gum saplings 2-3 m high, a single black box sapling was flowering gloriously and proudly, defying all the understood rules that it was much, much too young for such productivity!! Now I have to check for other black box saplings that didn’t get the email about when they are supposed to flower!!

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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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