East Park Lands: Sugar Gum stand

This stand of sugar gum trees growing in Adelaide’s East Park Lands between Beaumont Road, and Fullarton Road has a long history. It is a remnant from Australia’s first Arbor Day celebrations of 20 June 1889, making it more than 125 years old. Arbor Day is now celebrated as part of World Environment Day in June each year, with thousands of children participating in tree planting events across Australia.

This first tree planting was held not far from the former Victoria Park racecourse. 757 school children planted 757 trees, from a range of species including Sugar Gums, Aleppo Pines, Elms, Poplars, and other pines.

The Sugar Gum (Eucalyptus cladocalyx, Syn. corynocalyx; Syn.langii) is a large, smooth-barked, upright tree occurs naturally only in South Australia, and can grow to a height of 35 metres. It has been planted along roadsides, in farms, and is a feature of rural schools. It is used for fence posts, railway sleepers, decking and fencing. It is valued for its durability and termite resistance.

Eucalyptus is Latin for well covered with a lid, referring to the cover of the seed pod, or operculum, an identifying characteristic of this genus. Cladocalyx is Latin for ‘defeat of the goblet’, referring to its urn-shaped fruit. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family.

This historic stand of trees is considered to be of State importance, with the possibility of being registered as of national significance.