Where do the trees grow?
Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora) trees have rough, flaky bark (often in a wavy pattern) on the lower trunk, and smooth bark on the upper trunk and branches. Its club- or egg-shaped buds are about 8 mm long and occur in clusters of 7.
Brittle Gum (Eucalyptus mannifera) and Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus rossii) trees have smooth whitish or pale greyish bark throughout. Brittle Gum bark is powdery and comes off when rubbed. Scribbly Gum bark is not powdery, and has either dark coloured scribble marks (caused by insects) and/or distinctive wrinkles on the undersides of its branches. The buds and fruits of Brittle Gum are in clusters of 7, while those of Scribbly Gum are in clusters of 9-15.
Blakely’s Red Gum (Eucalyptus blakelyi) trees have smooth, whitish, greyish or yellowish patterned bark on the trunk and branches. The trunk sometimes has rough bark at its base. The juvenile leaves, found on young saplings, are shortly stalked, and alternate along the stems. The spindle-shaped buds are to 14 mm long, and held in clusters of 7-11. The fruit have protruding valves. Blakely’s Red Gum trees often show a form of dieback in summer, with most of the leaves becoming very unhealthy.
Ngunnawal people used large strips of bark to make canoes, while coolamons and shields were made from smaller pieces. The wood can also be made into shields as well as clap sticks.
Red Stringybark (Eucalyptus macrorhyncha) trees have fibrous, fissured bark throughout. The bark is grey on the surface and reddish brown in the fissures. The juvenile leaves, found on young saplings, have short stalks, are usually alternate, and are covered in rough bristles. The diamond-shaped buds are about 9 mm long and occur in clusters of 7-11.
Ngunnawal people used the bark for shelters, shields, coolamons, string, rope and as a fuel to start fires, the wood for tool handles, and young saplings to make spears.