We went to our friends' place today to get our Christmas tree. They have a number of conifers lining their driveway so we took a branch from one to use as a Christmas tree.
While walking round their smallholding I spotted a lemon-scented gum or Eucalyptus citriodora. These are sometimes called 'widow-makers' as the limbs are inclined to break off without warning and have been known to take out foresters. They are not the only trees to be known by the colloquial name.
It has a straight, white trunk and grows to 60 to 90 feet. The leaves are narrow and lance-shaped. They occur naturally in northern Queensland but are a popular eucalypt in many temperate areas. They are one of the eucalypt varieties that are eaten by koalas.
The bark peels off each year to reveal a stunningly smooth and pale trunk. The foliage, if crushed, has a very strong lemony scent. My friend thinks they are a messy tree and the bark is certainly a bit of a nuisance. I think the beauty of the trunk and limbs more than makes up for a bit of temporary mess.
Photos copyright Vince Evans (click to enlarge an image)