Rough-barked Apple is a common woodland and forest tree of the family Myrtaceae, and is native to Eastern Australia. Reaching 30 m (100 ft) high, it is a large tree with fibrous bark and cream-white flowers that appear over the Austral summer. The trunk is often gnarled and crooked with fibrous grey bark (see notes). Other common names include apple box, rusty gum, gum myrtle and boondah.
Currently very dry due to drought, but this species seems to cope with that without too much stress. It grows on alluvial soils on floodplains and along watercourses, as was the case here as Crows Nest Creek runs nearby. Spotted in Crows Nest National Park, located northwest of Brisbane. Very rocky terrain, mostly granite soils, and dry sclerophyll forest. This species ranges across eastern Australia. (See wiki reference link under heading Distribution and Habitat for tree associations).
The bark and dark sap on the trunks of Rough-barked Apple reminds me so much of the various species of Ironbark, all of which fall within the genus Eucalyptus. They have dark, deeply-furrowed bark, and instead of being shed annually as do many of the other species of Eucalyptus, the dead bark accumulates on the trees, forming fissures. It becomes rough after drying out and becomes impregnated with 'kino', a dark red tree sap exuded by the tree. The bark is resistant to fire and heat, and protects the living tissue within the trunk and branches from fire. In cases of extreme fire, where leaves and shoots are removed, the protective bark aids in protecting epicormic buds which allow the tree to reshoot. Having seen burned specimens in this national park, I'm certain the bark of Rough-barked Apple serves and behaves exactly the same as the bark of Ironbark - as protective insulation.
Lat: -27.25, Long: 152.11
Spotted on Jul 26, 2018
Submitted on Aug 1, 2018