Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Attack of the Christmas Beetles

Midsummer is "Christmas Beetle" season. They can do enormous damage to eucalypts.  This young Willow Gum, Eucalyptus scoparia, growing on the Eucalyptus Lawn,  was stripped by them in one day.

It seems that isolated trees are particularly vulnerable,  whereas those growing in the forest fare much better.  Is this because one of the predators of the Christmas Beetle, the endearing Sugar Glider, cannot get to isolated trees?   It is thought that this was one contributing factor leading  to ":eucalyptus dieback"  in the New England region.  

We should perhaps seek to ensure that our eucalypts are not put at risk by being placed in isolated positions. Planting stands of trees that are particularly attractive to Sugar Gliders, such as Spotted Gum, Corymbia maculata,  could assist.

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