The Mountain Grey Gum is the predominant large tree of Drouin and Warragul.
They were known by early settlers as ‘Monkey Gums’ because of the koalas that lived in them. In Drouin and Warragul, they are around 30-35m high and many of the rural roads are lined with them as remnants of the once great forest of which they were part.
Mountain greys generally like to grow on more elevated slopes than Strzelecki Gums.
They have rough fibrous bark on the lower trunk with a smooth trunk above; pale grey with whitish-yellow-cream streaks. They are identified by their long 12-35cm lance shaped leaves with flower buds in groups of seven on flattened stems or peduncles. They have white flowers in autumn (p3 Drouin Tree Walks).
In Drouin there some notable Mountain Grey Giants that are part of the town’s unique landscape. Some can be found in the Drouin Tree Walks book:
|The Settlement Giant||corner Settlement Road and Springwater Dr||page 20|
|The Bill Kraft Giant||Albert Road||page 64|
|The Victoria Road Giant||Victoria Street||page 39|
|Jack’s Giant||Princes Way Service Road||page 51|
|Hearn Park Giant||Hearn Park||page 48|
|Binbeal Road giants||Binbeal Road||page 11|
|Whitton’s Giant||Hopetoun Road||page 70|
|The Railway Giant||Francis Avenue||page 32|
|The Grandfather Tree||Civic Park, Drouin||page 40|
Keep a look out for the signs at many of these giants.
Although many Mountain Grey Gums were removed in the early years of settlement, those remaining in the town of Drouin were actively protected and preserved by the Buln Buln Shire.
With rapid urban growth many of these trees are at risk as land is developed for houses, and roads are ‘upgraded’. Loss of these trees in turn means the loss of habitat for many species reliant on trees for hollows, nests or roosting and loss of corridors of trees providing connection for wildlife.