On Wednesday, 5 October, 2011, Mr John Mackay, Chair, National Arboretum Board of Governors joined Mr Tony Godden KCHS, the Grand President of the worldwide association of Catholic businessmen known as the Catenians, in planting a Eucalyptus argophloia (Western Queesland white gum) at the Arboretum as part of his trip to Australia.
Mr Godden, a distinguished educationist from Stirling in Scotland, represents a professional organisation with more than 10,000 members, each group known as a Circle of which there are two Catenian Circles in Canberra.
Mr Godden planted a Western Queensland white gum that has become an endangered species due to farming and grazing over many years.
The gum trees planted in this location will form just one of the 100 forests that are being planted to fulfil the landscape vision for the Arboretum.
General Description: Eucalyptus argophloia (Western Queesland white gum)
It is medium-sized to tall evergreen tree and usually has a very upright form with a striking white trunk up to 1 metre in diameter. Older bark can become a colourful pinkish grey. It is typical for more than half the trunk’s height to be clear of branches.
It is classified as a threatened species and the main identified threat continues to be habitat destruction for agriculture and grazing. Potential threats include: harvesting for timber; lack of seedling regeneration due to weeds or planted pasture species; and road widening and maintenance activity. Its spread is now very restricted and is found in an area of only 15,000 ha.
The timber is very hard and is highly resistant to decay when in contact with the ground or in damp or poorly ventilated conditions. The heartwood is deep red, hard, heavy and strong. The wood has been used for poles, posts, general construction and firewood. Oil from the leaves has potential for medicinal use but the concentration in the leaves is low.