Why do gum trees shed their bark please?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If by Gum trees you mean Eucalypts from Australia, they shed their bark as an adaptation to a to being a fire-loving tree in a fire-prone environment. Many species shed their bark in long strips to encourage fire- these strips of bark draw the fire up into the canopy of the tree and start fires in the vicinity, killing competing trees and giving the Gum tree seedlings a better chance of a head start following the fire. Beneath their thick bark they have what are called Epicormic shoots which are like potential buds held in check by hormones secreted by the growing tips of the branches. When the branches get burned off the buds sprout. Eucalpypts usually require fire for germination and by having lots of dry bark (and flammable leaves) around the base of the tree is a great way to encourage fire. Gum trees love fire.

  • 4 years ago

    Trees That Shed Bark

  • 4 years ago

    1

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  • Lily
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    gum trees shed bark

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  • 1 decade ago

    Great question!

    Most trees shed their bark in one way or another, and there is a good *physical* reason why they need to - as the tree trunk grows fatter, the bark has to either stretch or come off!

    There are other reasons for shedding bark as well - to make it difficult for insect pests to maintain a home, or simply to avoid the expense of upkeep (bark requires constant repleneshment of oils to maintain its elasticity).

    Gum trees in particular stand out because of the way that they shed their bark. A tree book I have on my shelf (cited below) says: "Some 'stringy-bark' eucalypts grow masses of thin-walled cells in the bark, so when it dies, the bark breaks into strings of loosely attached fibrous bark". Sounds pretty messy!

    Bark is dead, so you can think of it as losing hair... and in gum trees, it actually looks that way!

    Source(s): Thomas, Peter (2000). Trees: Their Natural History. Cambridge University Press, UK.
  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Its actually aluminum foil that they are shedding. It makes the gum tree easier to chew.

  • 1 decade ago

    not sure

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