Australia’s Favourite Tree

ABC Science recently asked people to go online to explore the wonder and science of the plant kingdom, and vote for their favourite tree.

River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulnesis). Source: Stuart Cohen
River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulnesis). Source: Stuart Cohen

33 different tree species were long-listed by ABC’s resident tree-lovers in consultation with horticulturalists so that people could get to know our natives and vote for their favourites.

After three rounds of voting and more than 270,000 votes, the list was whittled down to 10.  Here’s where the fierce competition began. The winner, the River Red Gum (Eucalyptus calmaldulensis), was announced during National Science Week on Friday 26 August.  The top 10 Australian trees with their voting percentages were:

  1. River red gum — 18.11%
  2. Snow gum — 14.18%
  3. Ghost gum — 12.61%
  4. Moreton Bay fig — 12.57%
  5. Mountain ash — 11.73%
  6. Boab — 6.81%
  7. Karri — 6.48%
  8. Red flowering gum — 6.33%
  9. Illawarra flame tree — 5.67%
  10. Golden wattle — 5.51%
River Red Gum (Source: Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board)

The River Red Gum is widespread across Australia and provides shade along inland waterways, like the Murray-Darling catchment. Forests of this tree contain many significant Aboriginal sites, including trees showing scars where bark was removed to make canoes and shields.

Three of the trees in the poll — the river red gum, mountain ash, and snow gum — also featured in a two-part ABC TV’s ‘Catalyst’ special exploring the lives of eight of Australia’s oldest, largest and most distinctive trees. Watch now on ABC iview.

Read more here.