The Largest Spotted Gum in the World

Warwick Varley

Located within a State forestry reserve at Termeil, between Ulladulla and Batemans Bay on the south coast of New South Wales (and only 5 minutes off the Princes Highway), the State Government has announced a decision to incorporate this tree ('Old Blotchy') into the Murramarang National Park. This tree is estimated to be in excess of 400 years old, and is still within optimal condition and vigour. This tree has been listed on the National Register of Big Trees, and is well known throughout the local district having been named 'Old Blotchy".

The tree has been measured as 59m high, with a crown spread of 30m and a stem circumference of 10.7m or 3.4m in diameter (as of 2008). Of most interest is not only the sheer size of the primary limbs that start at 30m above the ground, but the diameter that ranges up to 1m and the extent of inosculation (self grafting between the limbs) of these limbs. It is surprising that few cavities openings (hollows) appear to exist within a tree of such age, however the height and mass of the crown could surely contain more that are obscured from the ground.

Old Blotchy Old Blotchy
Left: The scale of the tree's girth (author standing at base); Right: The stem and crown

Old Blotchy Old Blotchy
Examples of the limb inosculation

From the newsletter of ASGAP's Eucalyptus Study Group, October 2012.

For more information on the eucalypts, see ANPSA's Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora section of the website.

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