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Sydney Red Gum

Angophora costata


Imagine trying to harvest this tree's apples. It's not that sort of apple tree though. The Sydney Red Gum (which is the name I know it as), is also known as Smooth-barked Apple, Rose Apple and Rose Gum. A. costata differs from the majority of gum trees in that it is not a Eucalyptus, but rather a closely related genus. It's a large, wide, spreading tree usually seen of a height between 15 and 25 m. The trunk is often gnarled and crooked with a pink to pale grey, sometimes rusty-stained bark. It's characterised by a distinctive orange or pink hue to the trunk when the bark has been newly shed. The colour fades with time and is a more subdued greyish hue in winter. White flowers occur in summer.


Spotted in the Cumberland State Forest. It's currently lush, green, and well forested. Here's some info: In Sydney and the Central Coast of NSW, they grow primarily on sandstone soils, usually on headlands, plateaus or other elevated areas.


This is a very important tree for fauna with respect to hollow log formation in older specimens which are used by many species of vertebrate fauna for both breeding and roosting, possums being one example. The nectar is a major source of food for many species including numerous invertebrates, flying foxes (Grey Headed and Little Red locally), and the seeds eaten by parrots.

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 7 years ago

I think if this tree had apples, they'd be the size of bunya cones... and I love apples. Very disappointed when I discovered the truth LOL How they name these trees is anyone's guess. They colour of the bark was beautiful in certain light with a reddish hue, and the trunk was awesome.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

I wonder how the name got associated with apples. Maybe the first settlers were dreaming of apples for a while. There's another species in the Hunter that the locals call 'Apple Gum' but entirely different again (an E. species). Last week I couldn't find any apples on those either. :-)

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Spotted on Jul 29, 2013
Submitted on Aug 23, 2013


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