Walking around the hills of the Tableland in glorious NE Victorian winter sunshine is such a treat. Vivid blue sky, warmth on your back, clean crisp air, beautiful light, visual clarity such that you can see for miles and the vistas are to die for. One of the most magnificent features of the valley floors are the majestic and often ancient Red Gums. Glorious shelter trees, full of food and residential facilites for all sorts of wildlife.
However, something is missing from most of these views. The young ones. On open pasture, Red Gum saplings and young trees appear rare. Unsecured natural regrowth is commonly trampled by stock. Native tree plantations (even if they happen to include Red Gums) are commonly placed in peripheral locations.
Like other trees, Red Gums are a natural carbon sink. Only these ones last for centuries. Red Gums shelter stock. They provide safe harbour for wildlife transiting open pasture. They also take more than one hundred years to form their first hollows. These hollows are vital reproductive habitat for many species.
Hopefully, any landholders who read this post will look at the age and distribution of their Red Gum population and be proactive about secure replacment planting soon.