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