River red gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) are notorious limb droppers. With the recent blistering temperatures (Adelaide’s been experiencing been experiencing strings of days above 40 degrees Celcius, and the normally milder Southern Fleurieu has had days in the early 40s) and a burst of gale-force winds, one of our two remnant red gums has lived up to its notoriety.
Already bent and smeared across the hillside by persistent winds, the grand old grandmother tree dropped its main trunk in the excitement, splintering across a metre or so diameter. Despite the change to the skyline, we’re excited by the many prospects this presents: plenty of timber for water-retention strategies, bush poles for construction and habitat, perhaps a bit of trunk for milling and an opportunity to learn how to wield a chainsaw. Even if we never get to any of that, we’ll have a hole in the canopy that provides a bit more sunlit ground for planting this winter.