Voting is open for Eucalypt of the Year 2020! Our team’s favourites

twisted limbs and strtiped bark of a river red gum

Voting is open for Eucalypt Australia’s 2020 Eucalypt of the Year Competition.

Help us find Australia’s most beloved eucalypt and spread the love for our national trees. You can vote via this online form.

Share your vote and eucalypt stories to inspire others to take part by tagging @EucalyptAus and using the hashtag #EucalyptoftheYear. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday March 20 and the winner will be announced the following Monday, on National Eucalypt Day, March 23.

You can find lots more eucalypt-focused activities at the National Eucalypt Day page.

Below we’ve shared the favourites of some of our team members.

Ellie, Communications and Engagement Manager

This year I’m voting for the Eucalyptus caesia, the Silver Princess. Although this species isn’t native to Victoria, I see them planted in gardens all around my neighbourhood and every time I see one I’m mesmerised. I love its spindly, elegant stance and the way its enormous pink flowers stand out against its drooping silver branches.

Victoria, Administration Officer

I’m voting for the Candlebark Gum (Eucalyptus rubida). While this eucalypt is widespread across south-eastern Australia, it has a special place in my heart as it evokes a strong sense of nostalgia for my childhood. I remember when I had the summers off school I would go wander and play in the bush on my childhood property where I would be amazed by the Candlebark’s beautiful silver foliage, delicate white flowers and tall trunk. Most of all I remember how in late summer, the once smooth white base of the Candlebark would turn red and orange and begin to shed into long strips, indicating the end of school holidays and less time to play among the eucalypts.

A smooth Candlebark Gum in Wombat State Forest, Trentham, Vic.
A smooth Candlebark Gum in Wombat State Forest, Trentham, Vic. Image: Cathy Cavallo.

Cathy, Operations Manager

This year I’m voting for the Darwin Woollybutt (Eucalyptus miniata), a comfortingly common and striking (thus relatively easy to identify) tree of tropical woodlands and savanna in northern Australia. Driving around the Top End last year, I encountered many woollybutts and was astounded by the wiry, coconut husk-like stocking around their base. The bark of many northern eucalypts is so different from the bark of the species I’m familiar with in Victoria and the woollybutt reminds me that eucalypts are endlessly surprising and that I will never stop learning about them. Woollybutts are also one of the few eucalypts to have orange flowers!

Rowan, Volunteer Writer

Red Ironbarks (Eucalyptus tricarpa) are my favourite eucalypt. They have to be simply because they support so many of the birds I grew up cherishing. A walk through a woodland dominated by Red Ironbarks looks and sounds like no other place.

Michael, Productions Manager

I’m a big fan of the Ironbarks. I love the pale green leaves set against the pitch-black bark. I’ve started propagating some Ironbark trees from the seeds of a giant in my neighbourhood. I believe this is a Red Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon), also called Mugga Ironbark, so this species gets my vote.

*Note the two different species, Eucalyptus tricarpa and Eucalyptus sideroxylon, both known as Red Ironbarks!

Michael's potted ironbark seedlings grown from collected nuts
Michael’s potted Ironbark seedlings grown from nuts collected from a tree near his place. Image: Michael Portway.

Sarah, Publications Manager

My vote goes to the Wallangarra White Gum (Eucalyptus scoparia) in honour of a planted tree that lives in the reserve out the back of my house in Kyneton, central Victoria. I love admiring it from my kitchen window or back deck and watching the colours change through the seasons. Its summer colours pictured here are not as vibrant as the pastel pinks and greens of springtime, but I still think this is a gorgeous tree and it’s a favourite with our resident Magpies, who then fly onto my fence to torment my dog. I think everyone should have a eucalypt outside their window!

The Wallangarra white gum outside Sarah's house
The Wallangarrara White Gum out the back of Sarah’s house, in its late summer colours (at least we are pretty sure this is a Wallangarra White Gum). Image: Sarah Thomson

Tim, Content Creator

While I’ve always loved Albert Namatjira’s paintings of Ghost Gums (Corymbia aparrerinja), when I saw these trees in the flesh, I felt I began to truly appreciate their beauty. Their smooth, white bark contrasted against the rough red rock and soil of Central Australia is such a stunning sight.

A lone Ghost Gum against the red soil of the outback

Ghost Gum (Corymbia aparrerinja). Image: Tim Brown


Note on eucalypt identification

If you noticed there was some slight uncertainty in our team when naming eucalypts we noticed in our surroundings, that’s because there are more than 860 species of eucalypt in Australia and they are really hard to identify with 100% accuracy! It takes a lot of practice and accumulated knowledge to become an expert at eucalypt identification and even many experts struggle with unfamiliar species.

If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of eucalypts there are to learn, a guide book is a great place to start learning the species in your area. You can join a Facebook group like Eucalypt Australia Community to learn more and to ask for help with identification. Take some photos of the trees near your house that you admire, including close photos of the leaves, buds and nuts, and group members will help find the answer. You’ll be surprised how many serious eucalypt experts are in these groups!

Don’t forget to cast your vote and share the love on social media using the #EucalyptoftheYear hashtag.

Cover image of a River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) by Cathy Cavallo.


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