Saturday, 2 May 2015

Day 180 - An Enigmatic Eucalyptus at Snilesworth

Red Grouse today on Snilesworth
Hey everyone, it's Day 180 and I'm continuing my on and off mini series of things I've seen recently on the North York Moors. It is a beautiful place, full of wild life, wonderful landscapes and the odd mystery, apart from the mystery of why people want to scare innocent birds into the path of lots of people with guns which I know puzzles a lot of people that read my posts.

The mystery today though is quite different and it's a tree based mystery. High up on Snilesworth moor I found today's subject, a Eucalyptus tree. I don't know why it is there and as you'll see from my research it's not in its usual habitat.

So here's what I found out:

  • Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia, New Guinea and some of Indonesia - quite a way from North Yorkshire!
    Eucalyptus on Snilesworth Moor
  • They are known as gum trees as they leak a sticky gummy substance if their bark is injured.
  • The incredibly cute Koala bears' diet is made up of Eucalyptus leaves, I've not see those on t' moors yet.
  • They are usually an evergreen tree but some will shed their leaves in the dry season. We don't really get one of those in Yorkshire!
  • Their leaves have evolved a shape and hang in a way that prevents them from getting direct sunlight and minimises water loss, important when you come from a hot dry place.
    Evergreen Leaves
  • In hot dry places there can be bush fires and the Eucalyptus has a really useful trick to survive these. In the core of the tree and the roots they have dormant shoots that are only woken up by hormones that are triggered by the heat of a fire.
  • Eucalyptus trees are full of a really useful oil too which can help clear your head and nose when you have a cold.
  • When its very warm eucalyptus forests are sometimes covered in a mist of the vaporised oils from the tree the and apparently the Australian Blue Mountains are named after this mist or haze
This one has lovely bark
  • They can live for up to 250 years in the wild.
  • There are lots of different varieties and they can be anything from 33ft to 200 feet tall.
  • They are grown in lots of places apart from their native home as they are really useful for their wood, their oil (which can also be used as an insecticide) and to drain marshes as they will absorb huge quantities of water from the ground.
So, a very unusual tree to find in North Yorkshire. I couldn't find any reason why it should be there! If you want to read more about these trees, try these links:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. The bark on the Eucalyptus Trees is so pretty - I love it. Lovely post, as always Zach! - Tasha

    1. Thanks again, Tasha, really glad you like my posts :-)

  2. Zach

    We love your blog here at the North York Moors National Park. If you ever want to do us a guest post for our blog please just let me know.

    Rachel S

    1. Hi Rachel, really glad to know you enjoy my posts. Love the moors as I see so many great things when I'm out and about. I'd love to do a guest post. Is there any thing you'd like me to write about?

  3. That's great Zach. Please write about anything you like - we're interested in your perspective - our Blog has a 'conservation in the North York Moors' theme - so what you're interested in will fit right in. And no pressure about when - whenever you have a spare moment will be fine.

    Rachel S
    conservation @
    Sorry about putting false gaps in this email address - it's to try and stop our emails being picked up by spammers.