The tallowwood tree, Eucalyptus microcorys, is a fast growing gum tree and can grow as tall as 60 metres in height. These gums can be found along the Australian east coast from Newcastle in New South Wales to Maryborough in Queensland. I have a number of these trees on my acreage here in SE Queensland.
Every eucalypt tree has eucalyptus oil in its leaves which is highly flammable and means they catch fire very easily. Many eucalypts are dependant on fire for regeneration as they have underground tubers, hidden buds under the bark, or seeds that will only germinate after fire.
The bark of a tallowwood is a reddish-brown colour revealing orange underneath and is flaky and soft. If you press your fingers on the bark it feels spongy.
The white flowers of the tallowwood are enjoyed by bees and nectar eating birds as well as flying foxes and possums. Koalas also eat the leaves of the tallowwood.
Just about every home in Australia has a bottle of eucalyptus oil in the cupboard, which is not surprising because of its numerous beneficial properties – antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, anti inflammatory, decongestant, relieves muscle aches and pains, stimulates blood flow for mental activity, and a natural bug repellent.