Eucalyptus or ‘gum trees’ trees are an iconic native tree in Australia with millions of them growing across the country in bushland and around properties.
These trees are typically home to Koala’s who inhabit these trees and eat gum leaves, protected from other animals up high in the tree.
Eucalyptus trees are also well-known for being dangerous and causing injury and damage to property.
This guide will outline what to look out for and how to get professional help if you’re concerned about a Eucalyptus tree on your property.
Why Are Eucalyptus Trees Dangerous?
Eucalyptus trees are tall trees with shallow roots that have adapted for the harsh conditions in parts of Australia.
These trees grow tall and fast. In the vent of high winds, storms, the ground the roots are in can weaken and the tree can be blown by the wind at high speed, resulting in branches falling or the entire tree falling. Branches can just fall without storms, known as the ‘summer branch drop’ – Robert Boden, Arborist.
Because of their size, these trees have caused enormous damage to homes, cars, buildings and physically injured people over the years.
Campers in the Australian wilderness should absolutely not set up camp under these trees due to the likelihood of falling branches.
In the event of a fire, these trees are dry and quickly burn up into the canopy of the tree (top) with devastating results in a bush location. However, these trees have adapted to rapidly grow back fast, flowering and regrowing.
Danger Signs To Look Out For
Look for branches that look weak, like they may fall from the tree or may be moving a lot in the wind. If there are branches that have already fallen to the ground, this is a sign that more could follow in strong winds.
Look for discolouration and sap oozing from the tree. This will show the tree is likely diseased and would require removal for safety reasons.
Also, check for branches that are leaning in a sharp V like shape along with cracks in the tree body and cracking on the limbs.
What You Can Do To Avoid An Accident
An arborist is trained to inspect Eucalyptus trees and assess any potential or existing issues with the tree.
If you suspect that a tree looks diseased or branches look weak, we recommend contacting a local Arborist to conduct an inspection for your peace of mind.
Once the tree has been inspected, the Arborist will advise on what needs to be done to avoid an accident and damage. This may include pruning the tree, lopping branches or full tree removal.
The Arborist can assist in obtaining a permit with your local council to remove the tree as it may be considered protected under a Vegetation Protection Order (VPO) in your area/suburb.