Apple Box

Description

Common names

Apple Box, But But, Apple, Apple Gum, Applebox, Moonbi Apple Box, Mt Canobolas Box, Swamp Apple.

Scientific names

Eucalyptus bridgesiana.

Family

Myrtaceae.

Genus

Eucalyptus.

Name origin

Bridgesiana, after F. Bridges, the Chief Inspector of Education in NSW during the nineteenth century. The common name refers to its similarity to the Rough-barked Apple (Angophora floribunda).

Rainfall

500-1000mm.

Growth rate

Moderate.

Growth height

Up to 20m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread, in most areas on drier flats and lower slopes. Found in hills of higher rainfall areas.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas.

Habitat

Grassy woodland on drier sites, often shallower soils on slopes, and creeklines in lower rainfall areas.

Habit

Tree to 20m high with fibrous-flaky bark persistent on trunk and larger branches. Large crown of heavy green semi-glossy leaves.

Similar species

Distinguished from Long-leaf Box (E. goniocalyx) and Silver Bundy (E. nortonii) by its fruit, which are smaller and not as "blocky", its habit and habitat.

Site preference

Well-drained heavy soils. Tolerates moderate frost and drought.

Characteristics

Moderate growth rate.

Flowering

White, late summer-autumn. Regular and profuse. Buds appear in summer and are carried for about a year.

Seed collection

Generally winter-spring. Monitor seed-bearing capsules. Store seeds at room temperature.

Propagation

From seed (±366 viable seeds per gram). 250C is optimum germination temperature.

Regeneration

Regenerates well from seed. Can regenerate in weedy areas or those dominated by competitive exotic grasses.

Shade and shelter

Useful medium-level cover in windbreaks. Excellent shade due to large spreading crown. Seems to tolerate pressure from stock camps compacting the soil and raising soil fertility. Nonetheless, fencing recommended to preserve trees and encourage regeneration.

Land protection

Useful in gully erosion control as back-up to fibrous-rooted understorey shrubs.

Fuel

Burns readily, but generally not regarded highly as fuel.

Timber

Too soft and brittle to be useful.

Wildlife

Excellent habitat. Flowers a food source for many insects, which attract insect-eating birds. Good nectar flows, favoured by bees. Yellow-bellied Gliders occasionally gouge through bark on trunk to obtain sap, and search for large wood-boring insect larvae. Squirrel Gliders and Sugar Gliders may obtain sap and insect larvae. Wombats occasionally dig down and chew roots. Refuge and nesting sites for many hollow-dependent birds and mammals.

Ornamental

Ornamental for larger gardens and parks, particularly in juvenile foliage stage.

Other

Leaves produce red dye with alum as mordant.