Yellow Box, STEP’s feature tree

For our first issue, we have chosen as our feature, Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora), which is one of five key species, in the endangered ecological Yellow Box Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland.

The Woodland Conservation Strategy for the ACT strives to conserve in perpetuity, viable, wild populations of all lowland woodland flora and fauna species in the ACT and support  regional and national efforts towards conservation of these species. On the recommendation of the ACT Flora and Fauna Committee, the Yellow Box – Rum Gum woodland was declared an endangered ecological community in 1997 under the Nature Conservation Act 1980. Some Yellow Box can be quite small, up to 10m, while other selections can grow to 30m. Typically, in cultivation, the tree is mid-sized to 20m in height with a width of up to 8-10m. The foliage is grey-green and elegant, the flowers are very fragrant, white-to-cream, and the flowers bloom in spring through summer. The bark is variable, fibrous to coarse, and usually fawn brown to dark brown. This bark is deciduous; in late summer the bark peels, revealing a smooth, white underbark. Some trees will retain this smooth-barked character. We hope that the STEP garden will encourage plants species, birds and small reptiles that thrive in this woodland ecological community. STEP will plant 15 specimens of this tree in the STEP garden.