Guide to Trees of Georges River Council Area

Historically, the tree cover of Georges River has been the result of a complex interaction between soil types and topography.

Ridge Top – The higher ridgetops which dominate the former Kogarah and Hurstville Local Government Areas have soils derived from the Wianamatta Shale group which break down to clays and thin beds of shale-sandstone soils. Here most of the land has been cleared for housing, leaving only remnants of the previous tree cover. Scattered throughout this area are tall Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) and occasional Woollybutt (Eucalyptus longifolia), Broad-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus fibrosa) and Mugga Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon). It was forests of these trees which attracted early loggers who used Forest Road as their access. 

Turpentine

Woollybutt

Broad-leaved Ironbark

Mugga Ironbark

01 Syncarpia glomulifera 03 Eucalyptus longifolia 05 Eucalyptus fibrosa 07 Eucalyptus sideroxylon
02 Syncarpia glomulifera 04 Eucalyptus longifolia 06 Eucalyptus fibrosa 08 Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Syncarpia glomulifera Eucalyptus longifolia Eucalyptus fibrosa Eucalyptus sideroxylon

Georges River Shoreline – The indented shoreline of Georges River and the steep slopes running down to the shore consists predominantly of the Hawkesbury Sandstone group, with the soils a mixture of skeletal sands, blocks of weathered sandstone and some small shale lenses. Here the tree cover is more intact. On the upper slopes there is often a woodland with taller trees including Smooth-barked Apple (Angophora costata), Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera) and Sydney Peppermint (Eucalyptus piperita ).


Smooth-barked Apple
Red Bloodwood
Sydney Peppermint 
09 Angophora costata 11 Corymbia gummifera 13 Eucalyptus piperita
10 Angophora costata 12 Corymbia gummifera 14 Eucalyptus piperita
 Angophora costata  Corymbia gummifera  Eucalyptus piperita

 

On the protected slopes there is a richer vegetation and more varied large tree presence. The dominant species are Smooth-barked Apple, Grey Gum (Eucalyptus punctata) and Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis). Extensive Grey Mangrove (Avicennia marina) forests occur in sheltered areas of the Georges River but only a few individual plants (chiefly in Lime Kiln Bay) grow to tree-like size.

Grey Mangrove Grey Gum Blackbutt
23 Avicennia marina 15 Eucalyptus punctata 17 Eucalyptus pilularis
24 Avicennia marina 16 Eucalyptus punctata 18 Eucalyptus pilularis

Avicennia marina

Eucalyptus punctata

Eucalyptus pilularis


Oatley Park

One area of special interest is the sandstone-shale interface which occurs near the entrance to Oatley Park. Here there is a very localised stand of the large Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus sclerophylla), some on the margin of Oatley Park Avenue. Nearby on the slopes, benefiting from the richer soils, is the tall Brown Stringybark (Eucalyptus capitellata).

Scribbly Gum

Eucalyptus sclerophylla

 

19 Eucalyptus sclerophylla

 

 

20 Eucalyptus sclerophylla

Brown Stringybark Eucalyptus capitellata

22 a Eucalyptus resinifera

21 Eucalyptus resinifera 22 Eucalyptus resinifera

 

Guide and photos by Alan Fairley author of Native Plants of the Sydney District

 

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