Blow Clear, NSW

Nymagee, NSW

buds, fruits

Natural populations

Eucalyptus sideroxylon extends from near Wangaratta in northern Victoria, north along the western slopes and western plains of New South Wales, with scattered occurrences into southeastern Queensland, as far as Carnarvon Range, Waaje, Wondai State Forest, Yarraman and Goombungee [1,2]. Easterly occurrences in New South Wales include near Sydney and in the Hunter Valley. This species is woodland tree up to 25 m tall typically found on poor, shallow soils, including sands, gravels, ironstones and clays [1].

Flowering and seeds

Eucalyptus sideroxylon flowers during winter [1,3,4]. Seed capsules persist on trees until at least the following winter. There are about 240 viable seeds per gram; seeds start to germinate in about 5 days if grown at 20°C with no pretreatment required [3].

Cultivation and uses

Eucalyptus sideroxylon is a hardy tree that is relatively drought and frost tolerant, with potential to be cultivated well beyond its natural range [5]. It is often planted as an amenity plant throughout many parts of temperate urban Australia and is closely related to E. triflora. It is likely to tolerate poor shallow soils, similar to those across its natural distribution, but is considered relatively slow growing. It was ranked as being only slightly salt tolerant [6] so caution is warranted planting it on sites where salinity is a problem. Eucalyptus sideroxylon produces dense, durable wood that has been used for a range of heavy duty applications including bridges, building timber, heavy construction, beams, engineering structures and railway sleepers [1]. Eucalyptus sideroxylon also has value as fuelwood, charcoal, fencing, posts, and for apiculture. It is regarded a one of the major honey producing species of New South Wales [4]. Provenance variation in this species is currently being assessed by the Australian Low Rainfall Tree Improvement Group [7].

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 450-920 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 12-23 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 26-32 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 1-6 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): frost free or more or less frost free, up to 20 or greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 0-1000 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be tolerant of protracted droughts
Fire: regenerates foliage after damaging fire
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Wind: tolerates salt-laden coastal winds
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: neutral (6.5-7.5) or alkaline (greater than 7.5)
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm) or  moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: 1. well-drained
Salinity: slightly to moderately saline or non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: alkalinity
Extremes in texture: clayey or sand
Salinity: nil - sensitive to saline soils or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen tree to 25 m tall, usually produces a clear trunk
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: moderate
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding; lignotuberous
Root system: moderate to deep or shallow and spreading
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites or excellent for sandy sites
Windbreak potential: tolerates salty coastal winds
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: moderate
Potential farm use: good for fence posts, good ornamental attributes, shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: flowers produce nectar for honey production, pollen has value for apiculture
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant
Wildlife value: flowers are especially attractive to birds
Wood products: craftwood (for turnery etc.), flooring (including parquetry), heavy construction, high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, panelling, poles (building, transmission, piling), posts (including fencing), railway sleepers, speciality timber for quality furniture, termite resistant
Potentially undesirable attributes
Growth habit: shallow roots may outcompete adjacent plants


[1] Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnson RD, Kleinig DA, McDonald MW, Turner JD (2006) Forest Trees of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

[2] Slee AV, Connors J, Brooker MIH, Duffy SM, West JG (2006) EUCLID Eucalypts of Australia. Third Edition CD ROM Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

[3] Gunn BV (2001) Australian Tree Seed Centre Operations Manual. Internal Publication, CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, ACT. [Online at  Accessed March 2008]

[4] Clemson A (1985) Honey and Pollen Flora. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

[5] Jovanovic T, Booth TH (2002) Improved species climatic profiles A report for the RIRDC/L&W Australia/FWPRDC/ MDBC Joint Venture Agroforestry Program. RIRDC Publication No 02/095, Canberra.

[6] Marcar NE, Crawford DF (2004) Trees for Saline Landscapes. RIRDC Publication Number 03/108, Canberra.

[7] Harwood CE, Bird R, Butcher T, Bush D, Jackson T, Johnson I, Stackpole D and Underdown M (2005) Australian Low Rainfall Tree Improvement Group (ALRTIG) Update of hardwood breeding strategies, A report for the RIRDC/Land & Water Australia/FWPRDC/MDBC Joint Venture Agroforestry Program RIRDC Publication No 05/023 RIRDC Project No. CSF-62A. Available from the RIRDIC website at

Internet links

PlantNET National Herbarium of New South Wales:

Victorian Department of Primary Industry: [Search site as several documents may relate to this species.]