Square Trees #30 – the Tallowwood Tree

Beckyโ€™s Square Photo Challenge July: Square Tree

A while ago I wrote a blog about the Bloodwood trees on my place. So to continue on, here is a bit about the Tallowwood Tree, one of my favourite trees.

A song to help you get through a rather long post

The Tallowwood, Eucalyptus microcorys, can grow to around 60 metres in height. The bark is a reddish-brown colour and orange underneath. The bark is flaky and quite soft. The timber of the Tallowwood has many uses and is a very durable timber. It was a favourite in the past as a flooring timber. The heartwood ranges in colour from pale to dark yellow-brown. The sapwood is a whitish colour. The texture of the timber is moderately coarse, generally with interlocked grain, giving it’s durability. A characteristic is the almost greasy feel of the wood hence the name.

“Historically, Tallowwood has been used for bearings, mallet heads, mauls, wheel spokes, and tool handles. Current engineering applications include wharf and bridge construction (as sawn and round timber), railway sleepers, cross-arms, poles, piles and mining timbers. Construction uses range from unseasoned framing to dressed timber cladding, internal and external flooring, linings and joinery. Tallowwood is also used in fencing, landscaping and the construction of retaining walls. Decorative uses include outdoor furniture, turnery and joinery. Other applications include boat building, the construction of coaches, carriages and agricultural machinery, and structural plywood.” – https://www.woodsolutions.com.au/wood-species/tallowwood

This photo (not square) conveys how tall they are a bit more than the above photo

The tangle of branches

The fire on my place burnt some trees more than others. The Tallowwood bark being flaky is susceptible to fire running up the bark and into the crown. This tree only had the lower portion burnt.

Close up of the burnt bark showing the flaky outer burnt but the under bark intact

What the bark normally looks like showing the different colours

This is a wound on the tree – right hand side – where the bark has grown over the scar

Like the Bloodwood, Tallowwoods also exude a bit of sap from an opening where insects or possums have dug under the bark

The flowers are a soft fluffy white

and are quite prolific this year. So many flower and the buds showing there is more to come.

The Tallowwood is a great source of food. There have been so many different types of insects collecting pollen and nectar. Can you see the insects flying about? So many small black dots

Birds also use Tallowwoods for food. This is a White-throated Honeyeater probably after an insect.

Grey-crowned Babblers tearing at the bark to find some insects to eat.

I hope you have enjoyed a bit about the Tallowwood Trees on my place. The big Tree I wanted to photograph was too hard to get to from all the fallen timber after the fire. It is the Grandfather Tallowwood and is probably has a six metre girth. Three people holding hands around the tree would most likely be able to. The other one which is at the end of a track and on the edge of a clearing which was one of my favourite sights when in the bush didn’t survive being burnt, It looked OK after the fire but slowly died. I didn’t have the heart to include a photo.

22 thoughts on “Square Trees #30 – the Tallowwood Tree

  1. An interesting post – the Tallowwood is new to me. I am sorry one of the characters you were fond of didn’t survive. I understand what you mean about not having the heart to post the picture. I walked past a row of hawthorn trees yesterday that have just been ripped up by developers. They were wild and craggy, and full of songbirds and I loved them.

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  2. I enjoyed reading your post, and learnt a lot from it. We have a magnificent Tallowwood tree around the corner from us, which marks the corner of a garden. Itโ€™s an icon in the area, and itโ€™s huge! We walk past it every day, but I havenโ€™t noticed any flowers on it yet. If that tree dies I will be devastated.

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  3. These are beautiful, Brian. I especially love the flowers when they are in pictures and not in my pool. I don’t know what type of Eucalyptus we had, but our neighbor planted them 40 years ago for firewood on our property, so there they stay. I’m glad to know that they are so fire resistant. Our bark is white and gray rather than brown. We have a lot of redwood trees in our area, which is also fire resistant. With as many forest fires world-wide, I hope they plant fire-resistant trees like these when the forests are replanted.

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    1. Thanks Marsha. I love eucalypt blossoms too. Some of the stringy bark species have flames go up the trunk and then the canopy catches fire. The fires can spread from the canopy to tree to tree. This makes fires difficult to contain from the ground. There are many eucalypts with bark those colours ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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