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20 November 2019

Eucalyptus sideroxylon (black ironbark)

Datasheet Types: Invasive species, Tree, Host plant

Abstract

This datasheet on Eucalyptus sideroxylon covers Identity, Overview, Associated Diseases, Pests or Pathogens, Distribution, Dispersal, Biology & Ecology, Environmental Requirements, Natural Enemies, Impacts, Uses, Prevention/Control, Management, Further Information.

Identity

Preferred Scientific Name
Eucalyptus sideroxylon A. Cunn. ex Woolls
Preferred Common Name
black ironbark
Other Scientific Names
Eucalyptus sideroxylon var. rosea Rehder
International Common Names
Portuguese
pau carvao
Local Common Names
Australia
black ironbark
mugga
mugga ironbark
pink-flowering ironbark
red ironbark
Brazil
eucalipto
South Africa
swartysterbasbloekom
EPPO code
EUCSD (Eucalyptus sideroxylon)

Pictures

Tree habit of mature E. sideroxylon. Armidale, NSW, Australia.
Tree
Tree habit of mature E. sideroxylon. Armidale, NSW, Australia.
ANH, Canberra.
Bark of mature E. sideroxylon. West of Armidale, NSW, Australia.
Bark
Bark of mature E. sideroxylon. West of Armidale, NSW, Australia.
ANH, Canberra.

Overview

Importance

Eucalyptus sideroxylon is a small to medium-sized woodland tree, commonly 10 to 25 m tall with exceptional specimens reaching 35 m, and with diameters (at breast height) up to 1.0 m. The form of the trunk is often rather poor, while the length does not usually exceed one-half of the tree height. The 'ironbark' is persistent to the larger branches, hard and deeply furrowed, dark brown to black, with upper limbs covered in a smooth, whitish bark. E. sideroxylon occurs on the western slopes and plains of New South Wales and also west of Sydney to the Blue Mountains. It is also widespread in south-eastern Queensland west of the Great Dividing Range; also with a small extension into northern Victoria. The climate is largely warm sub-humid but the species extends to the warm humid and warm semi-arid zones. The rainfall is in the range of 420 to 1000 mm, with a winter or summer maximum and extended dry season depending on location. This species is typically found on infertile, shallow soils, including sands, gravels, ironstones and clays.E. sideroxylon is a relatively slow growing, coppicing species of indifferent form. Its tolerance of drought, some frost and poor shallow soils has seen it widely planted in northern Africa. The timber of E. sideroxylon, although difficult to work, is very heavy, very hard and very durable and is used in general construction and particularly where durability is important. The tree has ornamental value; a pink or red flowering form (var. rosea) is used in horticulture. It also makes a good shelterbelt tree and is an excellent honey producer. Provenance variation can be anticipated as the species has a very wide ecological range. However, few comprehensive provenance trials, as a basis for properly assessing the potential of the species, appear to have been established.E. sideroxylon subsp. tricarpa is now considered to be the separate species E. tricarpa and is, therefore, excluded from this summary.

Summary of Invasiveness

Although slow-growing, E. sideroxylon is tolerant of frosts, droughts and poor soil and has become invasive in southern Africa, now a category 2 declared invader under the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (1983) (Henderson, 2001). Brown and Gubb (1986) reported it to have a low degree of invasion in semi-natural habitats in Namibia and the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, recording it from timber plantations.

Taxonomic Tree

This content is currently unavailable.

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

E. sideroxylon subsp. tricarpa is now considered to be a separate species, E. tricarpa, and is, therefore, excluded from this datasheet.

Plant Type

Perennial
Broadleaved
Seed propagated
Tree
Woody

Description

E. sideroxylon is a small to medium-sized woodland tree, commonly 10-25 m tall with exceptional specimens reaching 35 m, and with stem diameters at breast height up to 1.0 m. The form of the trunk is often rather poor, while the length does not usually exceed one-half of the tree height. The 'ironbark' is persistent on larger branches, hard and deeply furrowed, dark brown to black, with upper limbs covered in a smooth, whitish bark. Henderson (2001) describe it as an evergreen tree with the blackest bark of all eucalypts, leaves dark grey-green, 60-110 mm long, lance-shaped, pendulous, young leaves much more variable in shape. Flowers cream, pink or deep rose-red with exserted stamens. The buds are pendulous with conical or beaked lids, up to 12 mm long. The fruits are brown pendulous capsules, round to oval, 8-10 mm long with deeply enclosed valves, which may be covered by a sub-persistent staminal ring.

Distribution

E. sideroxylon is native to Australia, occurring on the western slopes and plains of New South Wales and also west of Sydney to the Blue Mountains. It is also widespread in southeastern Queensland west of the Great Dividing Range, with a small extension into northern Victoria.

Distribution Map

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Distribution Table

This content is currently unavailable.

History of Introduction and Spread

Due to its tolerance of drought, some frost and poor shallow soils, E. sideroxylon has been widely planted in northern Africa. It was planted in South Africa for various uses including timber, fuelwood, in shelterbelts, honey production and as an ornamental plant but has become invasive in riparian habitats (Henderson, 2001).

Risk of Introduction

There is comparatively little information available on the biology of E. sideroxylon and its behaviour as an invasive species. Since it has become invasive in South Africa, future introductions should consider the possibility that it may become invasive in an exotic location.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

No specific information is available for E. sideroxylon, but it is known that wind disperses the seed of several other invasive Eucalypt species e.g. E. cladocalyx, E. grandis and E. lehmanii (Dean et al., 1986). The ability to withstand droughts, frosts and poor soils has led to the introduction of this species to regions outside its native Australia including countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe.

Habitat

E. sideroxylon is a woodland species, typically found on infertile, shallow soils, including sands, gravels, ironstones and clays. In its alien range, Brown and Gubb (1986) reported it to invade some semi-natural habitats, e.g. timber plantations in Namibia and Northern Cape Province, South Africa, and Henderson (2001) describes it as an invader of watercourses in South Africa.

Habitat List

CategorySub categoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial    
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchardsPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanksPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)

Biology and Ecology

Provenance variation can be anticipated as the species has a very wide ecological range. However, few comprehensive provenance trials, as a basis for properly assessing the potential of the species, appear to have been established. E. sideroxylon is a relatively slow growing, coppicing species. It reproduces from wind-dispersed seed. The climate in the native range of E. sideroxylon is largely warm sub-humid but the species extends to the warm humid and warm semi-arid zones, with annual rainfall of 420-1000 mm, with a winter or summer maximum and extended dry season depending on location. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including shallow, saline and infertile sites, though prefers free draining soils, and can be grown at altitudes up to 2000 m.

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude lower (m)Altitude upper (m)
-25-3602000

Air Temperature

ParameterLower limit (°C)Upper limit (°C)
Mean annual temperature1924
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month2534
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month08

Rainfall

ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration47number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall4201000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Summer
Winter
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

Soil texture > light
Soil texture > medium
Soil texture > heavy
Soil reaction > neutral
Soil reaction > alkaline
Soil drainage > free
Special soil tolerances > shallow
Special soil tolerances > saline
Special soil tolerances > infertile

Notes on Pests

Two herbivores, Anoplognathus sp. and Gonipterus sp. are noted as occasional pests, with limited available information. E. sideroxylon is also host to the red gum lerp psyllid (Glycaspis brimblecombei) and the leafblister sawfly (Phylacteophaga froggatti).

List of Pests

This content is currently unavailable.

Notes on Natural Enemies

Two herbivores, Anoplognathus sp. and Gonipterus sp. are noted as occassional pest, with limited available information.

Impact Summary

CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collectionsNone
Animal/plant productsNone
Biodiversity (generally)Negative
Crop productionNone
Environment (generally)Negative
Fisheries / aquacultureNone
Forestry productionNone
Human healthNone
Livestock productionNone
Native faunaNegative
Native floraNone
Rare/protected speciesNone
TourismNone
Trade/international relationsNone
Transport/travelNone

Impact: Environmental

Henderson (2001) describes E. sideroxylon as a 'potential habitat transformer' but in general, there is little specific information available.

Risk and Impact Factors

Invasiveness

Proved invasive outside its native range
Highly adaptable to different environments
Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
Highly mobile locally
Has high reproductive potential
Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year

Impact outcomes

Damaged ecosystem services
Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
Reduced native biodiversity

Likelihood of entry/control

Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

The tree has ornamental value; a pink or red flowering form (var. rosea) being used in horticulture. It also makes a good shelterbelt tree and is an excellent honey producer. The timber of E. sideroxylon, although difficult to work, is very heavy, very hard and very durable and is used in general construction and particularly where durability is important. Wood products made from this tree include, posts, building timbers, beams, exterior fittings, bridges, railway sleepers, boats, pulp and charcoal.

Uses: Non-Wood Uses

Essential oils and plant extracts from E. sideroxylon are reported to have anti-microbial and anti-tumour properties (Ashour, 2008).

Wood Products

Boats
Charcoal
Pulp > Short-fibre pulp
Railway sleepers
Roundwood > Posts
Sawn or hewn building timbers > Beams
Sawn or hewn building timbers > Bridges
Sawn or hewn building timbers > Engineering structures
Sawn or hewn building timbers > Exterior fittings
Sawn or hewn building timbers > Fences
Sawn or hewn building timbers > For heavy construction

Prevention and Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
No precise information available is available on the control of E. sideroxylon specifically; however, for some other invasive Eucalyptus species (e.g. E. cladocalyx and E. globulus), the practice of digging out seedlings and young trees has been applied (Weber, 2003). Similarly mature trees of these species have been felled and the stumps treated with herbicide and herbicides can be used to spray any seedlings/shoots that appear after the above treatment, whereas drilling stems and filling with herbicide is a further approach (Weber, 2003).

Silviculture Characteristics

Tolerates > drought
Tolerates > fire
Ability to > coppice

Silviculture Practice

Seed storage > orthodox
Vegetative propagation by > cuttings
Vegetative propagation by > grafting
Vegetative propagation by > tissue culture
Stand establishment using > planting stock

Links to Websites

NameURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

References

Ashour HM, 2008. Antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities of volatile oils and extracts from stems, leaves, and flowers of Eucalyptus sideroxylon and Eucalyptus torquata. Cancer Biol Ther, 7(3):399-403.
Bignell CM, Dunlop PJ, Brophy JJ, Jackson JF, 1997. Volatile leaf oils of some Queensland and northern Australian species of the genus Eucalyptus. (Series II). Part I. Subgenus Symphyomyrtus, section Adnataria: (a) Series Oliganthae, (b) Series Ochrophloiae, (c) Series Moluccanae, (d) Series Polyanthemae, (e) Series Paniculatae, (f) Series Melliodorae and (g) Series Porantheroideae. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 12(1):19-27; 18 ref.
Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnston RD, Kleinig DA, McDonald MW, Turner JD, 2006. Forest Trees of Australia (5th ed.). Victoria, Australia: CSIRO Publishing, 736 pp.
Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnston RD, Kleinig DA, Turner JD, 1984. Forest trees of Australia. 4th ed. Melbourne, Australia:Thomas Nelson and CSIRO. xvi + 687 pp.; 77 ref.
Booth TH, Nix HA, Hutchinson MF, Jovanovic T, 1988. Niche analysis and tree species introduction. Forest Ecology and Management, 23(1):47-59; 29 ref.
Bootle KR, 1983. Wood in Australia: types, properties and uses. Sydney, Australia: McGraw-Hill Book Company, viii + 443pp.; many ref.
Brooker MIH, Kleinig DA, 1994. Field Guide to Eucalypts. Vol. 3. Northern Australia. Sydney, Australia: Inkata Press.
Brooker MIH, Kleinig DA, 1999. Field guide to eucalypts. Volume 1, second edition, South-eastern Australia. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Inkata Press.
Brown CJ, Gubb AA, 1986. Invasive alien organisms in the Namib desert, upper Karoo and the arid and semi-arid savannas of western southern Africa. In: The ecology and management of biological invasions in southern Africa, Macdonald IAW, Kruger FJ, Ferrar AA, eds. Cape Town, South Africa: Oxford University Press, 93-108.
Burger DW, 1987. In vitro micropropagation of Eucalyptus sideroxylon. HortScience, 22(3):496-497; 3 pl.; 8 ref.
Buss CM, 2002. The potential threat of invasive tree species in Botswana. Department of Crop Production and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Botswana, 40 pp.
Cheng B, Peterson CM, Mitchell RJ, 1992. The role of sucrose, auxin and explant source on in vitro rooting of seedling explants of Eucalyptus sideroxylon. Plant Science Limerick, 87(2):207-214; 29 ref.
Clemson A, 1985. Honey and pollen flora. Honey and pollen flora., iv + 263 pp.; [B].
Craze B, Salmon J, 2004. A Review of Literature on Ironbark Ridges and Associated Lands. New South Wales, Australia: Dept. of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources.
Cremer KW, 1990. Trees for rural Australia. Melbourne, Australia: Inkata Press.
Dean SJ, Holmes PM, Weiss PW, 1986. Seed biology of invasive alien plants in South Africa and South West Africa / Namibia. In: Macdonald IAW, Kruger FJ, Ferrar AA (eds.), The Ecology and Management of Biological Invasions in Southern Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Oxford University Press, 157-170.
Farrow R, 1996. Insect pests of eucalypts on farmland and in plantations in southeastern Australia. CSIRO Identification Leaflets, Nos. 4, 5, 7. Melbourne, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.
Fechtal M, Riedl B, 1993. Use of Eucalyptus and Acacia mollissima bark extract-formaldehyde adhesives in particleboard manufacture. Holzforschung, 47(4):349-357; 39 ref.
Gogate MG, Dhaundiyal UD, 1988. An evaluation of Eucalyptus introduction trials at New Forest, Dehra Dun. Indian Forester, 114(2):69-77; 23 ref.
Hanks LM, Paine TD, Millar JG, Hom JL, 1995. Variation among Eucalyptus species in resistance to eucalyptus longhorned borer in Southern California. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 74(2):185-194
Henderson L, 2001. Alien Weeds and Invasive Plants. Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12. Cape Town, South Africa: Paarl Printers.
Hillis WE, Brown AG, 1984. Eucalypts for wood production. Melbourne, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
House S, Nester M, Taylor D, King J, Hinchley D, 1998. Selecting trees for the rehabilitation of saline sites. Technical Paper 52. Queensland Department of Primary Industries.
Jacobs MR, 1981. Eucalypts for planting. Eucalypts for planting., Ed. 2:xxiv + 677 pp. + 36 pl.; [B].
Jayawickrama KJS, Schlatter V JE, Escobar R R, 1993. Eucalypt plantation forestry in Chile. Australian Forestry, 56(2):179-192; 65 ref.
Knockaert C, 1984. Stand density and yield of Eucalyptus sideroxylon in the forests of the Mamora and of Ben Slimane. Annales de la Recherche Forestie^grave~re au Maroc, 24:101-125; 15 ref.
Murless P, 1994. Two and a half years of beekeeping in King William's Town, South Africa. South African Bee Journal, 66(5):100-105; [Bj].
Poynton RJ, 1979. Report to the Southern African Regional Commission for the Conservation and Utilization of the Soil (SARCCUS) on tree planting in southern Africa. Vol. 2. The eucalypts. Pretoria, South Africa: Department of Forestry. xvi + 882 pp.; ISBN 0-621-04763-5; 208 ref.
Ritson P, Pettit NE, McGrath JF, 1991. Fertilising eucalypts at plantation establishment on farmland in south-west Western Australia. Australian Forestry, publ. 1992, 54(3):139-147; 26 ref.
USDA-NRCS, 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov.
Webb DB, Wood PJ, Smith JP, Henman GS, 1984. A guide to species selection for tropical and sub-tropical plantations. Tropical Forestry Papers, No. 15. Oxford, UK: Commonwealth Forestry Institute, University of Oxford.
Weber E, 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: A reference guide to environmental weeds. Wallingford, UK: CAB International, 548 pp.
Wright A, 1991. Using trees to reclaim land lost to sandplain seeps. Journal of Agriculture, Western Australia, 32(4):146-149; 2 ref.
Zednik F, 1978. Successful afforestation trials in the arid central region of Tunisia. [Gelungene Aufforstungsversuche in ariden Zentral-Tunesien.] Allgemeine Forstzeitung, 89(12):414-415; 2 pl.

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Published online: 20 November 2019

Language

English

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CABI
CABI Head Office, Wallingford, UK

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