Hidden In The Hills: Scribbly Gum


The name “Scribbly Gum” can refer to a number of eucalypts. The main owner of the name Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma) is possibly the best known example in our Hills District bushland.

This tree generally is not very tall with a number of short trunks growing from a single root system similar to the group of eucalypts know as mallee. It is characterised by those wriggly lines that appear on the bark.

These wandering lines are where an insect has burrowed just under the surface of the bark, finding a source of food in or under this top layer of bark, leaving the characteristic wriggly trail on the surface.

Hidden In The Hills: Scribbly Gum


The pale colour of the bark makes this tree stand out against the dull green colour of the adjacent heathland in which it often grows.

A closely related variety known as the Hard-leaved Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus sclerophylla) exhibits similar bark colouration and typical scribbles. However it prefers a habitat with open woodland and forest, surviving on shallow to deep sandy soils. This more erect medium sized tree can grow up to 20 metres high.

Yet another similar variety found in the general region is the Narrow-leafed Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus racemosa). It can grow to much larger proportions, is less mis-shapen and more erect when compared to the other two above.

Hidden In The Hills: Scribbly Gum

As its name implies, its leaves are much narrower than the others. This tree can survive quite well in poorer but moist sandstone soils.

This obvious infestation of insects does not appear to be detrimental to the welfare of the tree.