Mountain Ash Eucalyptus regnans

Mountain Ash

Common name Mountain Ash
Botanical name Eucalyptus regnans
Family Myrtaceae
Natural range Vic and Tas, Australia
Mature height to 100m
Form Upright tall trunk with few lower branches
Likes Deep, organic soil
Dislikes Bushfires and logging
Where to plant Somewhere your grandchildren will appreciate it
Known for Tallest flowering tree

Can Flowers Reach the Sky? Meet the Tallest Flowering Trees

While Australia boasts a rich tapestry of diverse flora, there are few species that match the impressive stature of the Mountain Ash tree, the world’s tallest flowering plant. Imagine standing dwarfed next to these botanical titans, with their lofty crowns piercing the sky. Sure, American Redwoods may be taller overall, but those conifers are cone-bearers and lack the floral charm of the Mountain Ash.

Where Does the Mountain Ash Grow? A Tale of Endangerment

Damp rainforest areas in Victoria and Tasmania—the natural homes of the Mountain Ash, also known as Swamp Gums—are diminishing. Threats posed by logging, bushfires, and climate change are making large specimens of this stunning tree increasingly scarce.

Who’s the Tallest Mountain Ash Out There?

Meet ‘Centurion’, the reigning champion among Mountain Ash trees. Last measured in 2018, this arboreal giant towered at an astonishing 100.5 metres. Nestled deep within the Tasmanian wilderness, it has braved bushfires, most recently in 2019, but continues to stand tall and sturdy.

An Anomaly among Eucalypts: Survival against the Odds

Straying from typical Eucalyptus adaptations to Australian environmental stressors, Mountain Ash trees don’t take kindly to fire, drought, or poor soil conditions. But, nature equips them uniquely. Their seeds germinate profusely in the nutrient-rich ash deposits post forest fires, and given favourable conditions, they outgrow their counterparts by growing extremely fast.

Speedy Sprinters of the Forest: The Rapid Growth of Mountain Ash

Young Mountain Ash trees can clock growth rates up to 2 meters per year under the right conditions. However, this pace slows with age. The tallest forest dwellers you may come across could be between 200-350 years old, but growth rates may dip as old trees begin to ‘senesce’ (start to die back), and the uppermost parts of the canopies bear the brunt of high winds, lightning strikes, or fires.

Gargantuan Guzzlers: The Thirsty Mountain Ash

Mountain Ash trees develop enormous, deep-reaching root systems to satiate their substantial water needs. Their extreme height makes them unsuitable for small suburban backyards, but if you’re fortunate enough to reside in areas such as Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges, you might have the pleasure of an Ash or two gracing your forest garden.

Tree Warriors Against Climate Change

A 2009 study unveiled a surprising fact. Victoria’s Mountain Ash forests excel in carbon sequestration—they’re the world’s best at locking up carbon. It was estimated that a forest dominated by mature Mountain Ash trees, up to 250 years old, could store a staggering 2800 tons of carbon per hectare, provided it remains untouched by human activities.

Further Reading
Did You Know?
  • Mountain Ash can regenerate from a ‘lignotuber’, a woody swelling of the root crown embedded with buds, after being ravaged by fire.
  • Mountain Ash seeds, though tiny, can travel large distances, aided by their winged structure and the wind.
  • The flowers of Mountain Ash are a significant source of nectar and pollen, making them attractive to a range of native bees and birds.

For more fascinating insights into the world of trees and their management, visit Tree Care Insights. If you’re planning to plant native Australian trees in your backyard, check out our guide on Planting for a Greener Future.

More from our Tree Spotlight collection

Liked this tree? Jump to something similar:

Back to the Tree Spotlight main page
Scroll to Top