Undoubtedly the outstanding remnant indigenous tree species in Drouin is the Mountain Grey Gum, Eucalyptus cypellocarpa. More than a dozen of these wonderful town giants have girths greater than 6m and are estimated to be around 250 years of age or older. Many of Drouin’s Mountain Grey Gums are well over 40 metres tall.
Mountain Grey Gums have very long lance-shaped or sickle-shaped leaves, and the buds and fruit occur usually in groups of seven on flattened stems. The white flowers generally appear in autumn.
The smooth bark sheds in ribbony strips to expose whitish-grey to creamy-yellow patches on the trunk.
In Victoria, Mountain Grey Gums grow mostly south of the Divide from Melbourne to the NSW border, generally in wet gullies and on mountain slopes up to an altitude of about 1200m.
Many of the street and parkland cypellocarpas in Drouin are old enough to contain numerous hollows and a range of fauna have been observed making use of these for nesting and roosting – Eastern and Crimson Rosellas, Galahs, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Little Corellas, Rainbow Lorikeets, Kookaburras, Striated Pardalotes, Brushtail and Ringtail Possums, Sugar Gliders, etc.
To walk beneath some of these giants is inspiring. They are sanctuaries, provide shade and beauty and Drouin would be the poorer without them.