Humble gum top tree

A rare eucalyptus specimen near Dingley Dell cottage has been acknowledged as the ‘tree of the year’ by the National Trust of South Australia. A specimen of the Dingley Dells was named the National Trust’s inaugural South Australian Tree of the Year, as part of a new competition showcasing some of the state’s most impressive trees.

Known locally as a Dingley Dell due to its proximity to the heritage-listed Dingley Dell cottage, home to Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon in the 1860s, the tree is a hardy species of eucalyptus leucoxylon of the subspecies megalocarpa.

The species is also known as a large-fruited blue gum in SA and a large-fruited yellow gum in Victoria, and is found in a coastal strip from the Lower South East of SA through the Glenelg River to across the Victorian border. A large stand of the trees is also found in Germain Reserve.

In the lead-up to the award, South Australians were encouraged to nominate their favourite trees for recognition, with a shortlist of 24 trees selected by a panel of judges from National Trust SA, Trees for Life and the Conservation Council. The shortlist was then put out into the public to go to a vote.

According to National Trust SA, the winning tree’s nominator nominated it as “it represents South Australia’s southern-most gum and there are few examples left due to clearing for agriculture”.

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