Batemans Bay, NSW

Briar Ridge, NSW

Taree, NSW

buds, fruits

Natural populations

Corymbia maculata occurs along coastal and subcoastal New South Wales from Manning River valley south to Bega, with an outlier to the south at Mottle Range, north eastern Victoria [1,2]. In natural stands often comprise attractive trees up to 35–45 m in height, with long trunks. On exposed coastal headland sites they are often have a low stunted habit. Corymbia maculata grows on a wide range of often shallow, well-drained, clayey soils on valley slopes and ridges [1].

Flowering and seeds

This species flowers during May to September [1,3,4]. Fruit capsules mature about six to eight months later. Once mature, they are held on the tree in an indehiscent state for most of the year. This species appears to produce abundant widespread flowering on a seven year cycle. Seed collections would capture the highest quality seed (optimal levels of genetic diversity) following such an event. There are about 130 viable seeds per gram [4]. Pretreating the seeds to induce germination is not required, however, inhibitors in the seed coat that delay germination are suspected [4]. Leaching or soaking the seeds in large volumes of water will improve germination response. The seeds start to germinate in about 5 days if grown at 25-30°C [4].

Cultivation and uses

The smooth, mottled bark of C. maculata makes it an attractive option as an amenity tree. It is moderately drought tolerant but it may be susceptible to frosts during early establishment. It is tolerant of the root rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi. Corymbia maculata  is an important commercial timber species and produces excellent sawn timber, poles, charcoal and firewood [1,5]. The wood of this species has been used for a wide range of purposes, including poles, posts, construction timber, joinery, flooring, panelling, tool handles, furniture, plywood, firewood and charcoal [1]. In Australia the wood is harvested mainly from natural stands, but it is grown as a plantation species overseas (eg, southern African countries). Recently this species has shown potential as a farm-forestry in the 500-800 mm annual rainfall zone in southern Australia [6,7].

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 600-1700 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 10-19 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 20-32 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 0-7 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): frost free or more or less frost free, or up to or greater than 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 0-650 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant
Fire: regenerates foliage after damaging fire
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Wind: tolerates salt-laden coastal winds
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5), neutral (6.5-7.5) or alkaline (greater than 7.5)
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm) or moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: well-drained
Salinity: non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity or alkalinity
Extremes in texture: clayey or sand
Salinity: nil - sensitive to saline soils or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen tree 10-35 m tall, usually produces a clear trunk
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: fast or moderate
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds well to pruning, pollarding; lignotuberous
Root system: moderate to deep, shallow and spreading
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites or excellent for sandy sites
Windbreak potential: tolerates salty coastal winds
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: high
Potential farm use: good for fence posts, good ornamental attributes, shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: flowers produce nectar for honey production, pollen has value for apiculture
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant
Wildlife value: a critical food source for at least one species, flowers are especially attractive to birds
Wood products: boat building, craftwood (for turnery etc.), flooring (including parquetry), heavy construction, high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, light construction, panelling, poles (building, transmission, piling), posts (including fencing), railway sleepers, speciality timber for quality furniture, wood composites
Potentially undesirable attributes
Growth habit: shallow roots may outcompete adjacent plants
Susceptibility to disease or predation: susceptible to stem girdling by parrots


[1] Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnson RD, Kleinig DA, McDonald MW, Turner JD (2006) Forest Trees of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

[2] Slee AV, Connors J, Brooker MIH, Duffy SM, West JG (2006) EUCLID Eucalypts of Australia. Third Edition CD ROM Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

[3] Clemson A (1985) Honey and Pollen Flora. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

[4] Gunn BV (2001) Australian Tree Seed Centre Operations Manual. Internal Publication, CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, ACT. [Online at  Accessed March 2008]

[5] Marcar NE, Crawford DF (2004) Trees for Saline Landscapes. RIRDC Publication Number 03/108, Canberra.

[6] Harwood CE, Bird R, Butcher T, Bush D, Jackson T, Johnson I, Stackpole D and Underdown M (2005) Australian Low Rainfall Tree Improvement Group (ALRTIG) Update of hardwood breeding strategies, A report for the RIRDC/Land & Water Australia/FWPRDC/MDBC Joint Venture Agroforestry Program RIRDC Publication No 05/023 RIRDC Project No. CSF-62A. [Available from the RIRDIC website at Accessed 25/02/2008]

[7] Jovanovic T, Booth TH (2002) Improved species climatic profiles. A report for the RIRDC/L&W Australia/FWPRDC/ MDBC Joint Venture Agroforestry Program. RIRDC Publication No 02/095, Canberra.

Internet links

PlantNET National Herbarium of New South Wales:

Victorian Department of Primary Industry: Search site as several documents may relate to this species.

Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food: