Monday, 6 September 2010

Ain't misbehavin'

'Tis an odd thing in this tree business that causes one wonder at how the world works its ways so mysteriously that my daughters, adrift from me by the unfathomable workings of their mother's mind, should turn up in an English village in Derbyshire with the view of a Spotted Gum, E. maculata, on a slight rise across the road from my youngest's bedroom window. Two days after I took these photographs it snowed for the last time in the early spring of 2010. So these trees-there is apparently several others in the vicinty along the private drive to a local manor.

The Spotted Gum is an odd choice for a tree transplanted to a place where it remains leaved while every other tree in the place is denuded from the late autumn. The green and grey is perhaps more aesthetically pleasing in a village such as this, a grey stone and slatey place in the typical Midlands style of in a gully stretched along an upwards trending road. This is a place where for more than half a year the place lacks any sign of treed life, and even the 1200 year old yew in the churchyard with its stiff placidity, seems more lively than this gum.
A month later I spoke to the farmer of these few acres as he let his sheep into the field, and he told me that a previous owner of the place had an affection for Australia, where he had lived for a few years, that made him bring some seeds back to England, of which this tree is one. The barrier around the base is obviously to protect the base of the tree, although not even sheep, after a long winter cooped up in a barn would hazard a gnaw at the tart bark.

This tree is distributed in Australia, apart from the street trees we see in all our cities, along the coast from Bundaberg in the region of the Tropic of Capricorn (lat. 25S), to around the NSW-Victorian border near the Victorian town of Orbost (Lat. 37S). So this tree likes warm and wet, favouring summer rain. In its natural environment it flowers between May and September, or over the southern winter. I am now waiting on my daughter's observations as to the flowering time of this tree. I expect it to flower in the late autumn, before it gets too cold.

1 comment:

Merewether Life said...

Great to get that out of place feeling when travelling - would be good to put a few leaves on the fire for the smell of 'home'