National Eucalypt Day

After writing my Monday Musings on World Poetry Day this week, I was surprised to discover that today, Wednesday 23rd March, is National Eucalypt Day. I had no idea we had such a day, which is probably not surprising as this is only its 3rd year. It is an initiative of the Bjarn K Dahl Trust and its aim is “to further raise awareness of eucalypts and celebrate the important place that they hold in the hearts and lives of Australians”.  I love that, of course.

The Bjarn K Dahl Trust is a philanthropic fund, that, according to their website, was “established from a bequest by Bjarn Dahl, a Norwegian Forester, who developed a true affinity with the Australian bush, and a particular love for the Silvertop Ash, Eucalyptus sieberi, and left his entire estate to establish the Trust”. Wow, eh? (The date of 23rd March was chosen for National Eucalypt Day because it was Dahl’s birthday. I wonder if he’s related to Roald Dahl?)

My quick Google search suggests that the day is taking off somewhat faster than poor old World Poetry Day – well, I found three events anyhow. Here in Canberra, the Australian National Botanic Gardens are celebrating Eucalypt Week, but today, THE day, they presented a talk titled “As Australian as a gum tree : An historical look at eucalypts in Australian culture”. (Unfortunately I was otherwise engaged, or I would have been there). The Royal Botanic Gardens in Victoria offered a Walk with an expert eucalypt botanist. Back in Canberra again, I discovered that, for some reason, the National Arboretum celebrated National Eucalypt Day on 18th March, with “a variety of short walks”. Better early than never, I suppose!

I have written about gum trees (our popular name for eucalypts) several times on this blog, so am not going regale you with more right now. Instead, I’m going to share a photo I took today in a carpark in Canberra’s NewActon Precinct. Peeping above the wall are, yes, eucalypts.

Library Card poster Nishi Car Park

Not the best photo – the light wasn’t great – but the conjunction of library-love and eucalypts was too good to resist.

Happy National Eucalypt Day everyone (and especially to the Resident Judge of Port Phillip whom I was meeting for drinks right after taking this photo! It’s been years since we caught up – and it was lovely).

15 thoughts on “National Eucalypt Day

  1. Happy National Eucalypt Day! We don’t having any in Minnesota but there were lots in southern California where I grew up. I think they were all the same variety though which is too bad since I know there are lots of different kinds. Now that you know about the day, hopefully next year you will be able to catch once of the programs!

    • Oh yes, Stephanie, you’re right that they have some in SoCal. I’m not sure which species but in our area it seemed to be one of the gorgeous red-flowering ones. Unfortunately in some gardens near us they pruned them viciously which is not what these trees like and not what makes them look good. But the ones lining streets in some areas were beautiful.

      And yes, I’d love to attend an event … It’s hard finding the time, sometimes. Yesterday I had three commitments … This retired life is not easy you know!!!

  2. Ah – the Eucalypt – Eucalyptus to us Californians. Lots of them here brought over in the 1850s by Australian gold seekers. They took to us and we to them and now there are too many all over so a lot of them are being removed because of the fire hazard, especially in a drought.

    In Central California they’re not really a problem – only nearer the coast I guess. I see them everywhere though – along the freeways, in the fields. They’re funny trees – I like them.

    • Up in Central California too Bekah?

      Re the name … As I understand it, Eucalypt or Gum Tree is the general name for several genera … Including Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophera. For example the spotted gum, what I knew as the Eucalyptus Maculata, was renamed the Corymbia Maculata in the 1990s.

      They are funny trees in many ways … And there are hundreds of varieties many very different looking. Stringy barks, spotted barks, ironbarks for a start, and let’s not get started on the leaves, and drooping or not habits. For botanists though the variations go way deep!

        • Ah yes, I see you’re right about the Tasmania Blue Gum (which is in fact their state flower!), but as you say there are others. And you’re right that your fire departments see them as hazardous.

  3. I have never heard of National Eucalypt Day, but I love the idea. There is nothing better than a gum tree, it represents Australia well. I am always surprised when I see them overseas, and when I do, they always bring me back home.

  4. Gotta love a gum tree. Plenty at my place but next door has two old enormous ones that I love, and that I can see from my windows. Gum trees lined the roads in and out of Marrakech, btw.

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