The CIDER GUM (EUCALYPTUS GUNNII)

There is only one place in Australia, where the magnificent Miena Cider Gum (eucalyptus Gunnii) grows.

Miena, situated in the Central Highlands of Tasmania, the renowned for its freshwater lakes and trout fishing, has been the home for the Cider Gum for thousands of years, sadly this species has come under immense pressure from a changing climate and the browsing of native animals (like the Brush Tail Possum) which love to browse on the sweet, scented leaves.

There are two species of Cider Gum which grow in the highland area but only one is unique to Tasmania, which is the Miena Cider Gum, a similar species that grows a little lower in altitude also grows in Victoria.

I wrote this poem a few years back after witnessing the dying gums on my many trips to the lake country.

………………………………


 

The full moon ablaze in the clear night sky

Shines down on the Cider Gum skeletons

Their ghostly silhouettes, so white and stark

Bare witness to an environment under pressure

 

The Central Plateau, the high country of Tasmania

Has been the home of the Cider Gum for centuries

But they are under immense pressure from the climate

As the environment is stressed and changing fast

 

Grazed extensively by native and domestic animals

The gum was prevalent and thriving in the land of lakes

Now standing forlorn, dead, and dying in numbers

There limbs and branches bleached white by the sun

 

Aboriginals’ population of the past had many uses for the gum

The first settlers and trappers also used the Cider Gum

A brew was made from the sweet tasting leaves

And branches used to freshen up the camps and homes

 

Many attempts have been made to reintroduce the gums

But pressure from browsing and climate change has been unsuccessful

Seasonal changes and a lack of constant rain and wet weather

With the snow cover no longer lingering for weeks on end

 

 

 

For thousands of years the Cider Gum has survived

Such a unique and magnificent species of gum

Will soon be a distant memory and extinct

Unless a conservative survival effort is adopted


 

By Way2goKev (Kevin L Fairbrother) revised 2021

 

 

 


 

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