Eucalyptus Gnunnii – Cider Gum – Cider Tree
Eucalyptus gunnii, the cider gum or gunnii, is a species of flowering plant in the family Myrtaceae, endemic to Tasmania, occurring on the plains and slopes of the central plateaux to around 1100 metres, with isolated occurrences south of Hobart.
It is a small to medium sized evergreen tree. Older specimens have a short, massive bole and large, spreading branches. The bark is often persistent for several metres as a thin, grey stocking, or shedding all over to leave a smooth, yellowish, patchy surface, weathering to white-, green- or pink-grey.
Leaves are stalked, elliptical to ovate, to 8 cm long and 3 cm broad, concolorous, grey-green and thick. The foliage will change as the tree matures from a round leaf of waxy blue colour to a more elongated rich green foliage in the older tree but if maintained as a shrub the juvenile foliage will be retained.
White flowers are produced in midsummer
2017 from seedling
Diseases and Problems
PestsSuckers may be a problem
This species is noted for exceptional cold tolerance for a eucalyptus (to −14 °C, exceptionally −20 °C for brief periods) Fast-growing, it will produce a tree up to 37 m (121 ft) tall when mature, with growth rates of up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) (rarely 2 m (6 ft 7 in)) per year. Pruning can be employed to maintain the tree as a small shrub if required and more shaded spots will restrict growth. It does grow on sandy/chalky soils, but prefers a loamy soil; it does not tolerate very wet sites.
The plant produces a sweet sap similar to maple syrup, and is being considered for cultivation for this product. When bottled and capped, the liquid ferments and resembles apple cider, hence cider gum. The sweet foliage is eagerly eaten by livestock.