Spotted Gum

Spotted Gum

Common name Spotted Gum
Botanical Name Corymbia maculata
Family Myrtaceae
Natural range East coast Australia
Mature height 30-40m
Form Tall with spreading crown
Likes Well-drained soil
Dislikes Heavy pruning
Where to plant Avenue, or feature tree
Known for Mottled, smooth bark

Appearance

The Spotted Gum is one of Australia’s most recognisable trees, appearing up all over the country in parks and avenues. The smooth, mottled bark is a standout on these tall, stately trees and like most smooth-barked Eucalypts, these trees shed their bark in early summer to display pale yellow timber beneath (this can also result in an untidy appearance on lawns and paths for a few weeks).

Where to find them

Grey spots remaining from the older bark provide contrast and interest and while they’re probably a bit too large for the home garden, Spotted Gums make a great addition to parks or larger properties, where their small clusters of fragrant white flowers attract birds and bees to the area.

Are they Eucalypts?

These trees have been classified separately from other Eucalypts under the umbrella of Corymbias, or ‘The Bloodwoods’. The Spotted Gum is closely related to the Lemon-scented Gum, although the latter has finer leaves and a distinctive lemony-scent to the foliage.

Timber & uses 

The timber of Spotted Gum is very strong and is used commercially for a range of construction purposes, especially hardwood floorboards. The attractive light-to-reddish-brown timber means it is in demand for polished flooring and also in cabinetry or used as veneers. It is harvested for export woodchips and used in paper manufacturing. Spotted gum is commercially harvested in New South Wales and Queensland, from native forests and plantations.

Notable specimens

One of the largest known specimens of this tree is known as ‘Old Blotchy’ and is located near Batemans Bay in NSW. This Corymbia maculata is estimated at 59m high with a trunk circumference of 10.7m. Interestingly, most of the limbs on Old Blotchy start at least 30m from ground-level.

 

Read about the next tree here: Yellow Gum

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