Saturday, June 12, 2010

One of Toowoomba’s Significant Trees


Scrub Wilga
Geijera salicifolia
Family: RUTACEAE
Does our fair city have a register of significant trees? I have never heard of it, but there may well be one, as it’s the kind of thing that a city which prides itself on its “garden city” reputation could be expected to have.
If so, this tree must certainly be on it. Beside being a lovely plant, it is very unusual, in this city where camphor laurels are so highly valued, in that it is a local native species obviously doing the demanding job of being a street tree, with flair.
Note the neatness of the interface with the ground. The root system of these trees is a deep one, with none of the pavement-heaving surface roots which can be such a problem with trees native to wetter climates.
This tree is on the corner of West and Taylor Streets, and it is good to see that it has been given the respect of a gravelled surface near the trunk, allowing rainfall to penetrate the soil where half the tree lives.
This particular tree is a mass of flowers at the moment. The native insects and birds it is attracting show us that here is a good example of a city tree which is pulling its weight for the environment.
(It’s a butterfly host tree, too)

2 comments:

pandom said...

I was wondering if you read the comment in today's sms section of the Chronicle ( 2nd November) regarding the removal of the Camphor Laurel trees at the PCYC. It went something to the effect that the Camphors should have stayed as shade trees because natives are too "straggly" and therefore poor shade trees.

Patricia Gardner said...

Depressing, isn't it? It's the sort of thing someone can only believe if they don't know much about local plants. There do seem to be people who think that native trees begin and end with eucalypts.
However, I think there are increasing numbers of people, especially among the younger ones, who are becoming aware of what a large range of local native plants we really have. There's something for every purpose.
Trish