How many potentially dangerous branches fall from eucalypts?
Mature eucalypt trees provide a range of habitat features for native wildlife, as well as bringing natural beauty to urban landscapes. A PhD candidate at the ANU Fenner School is conducting research to find ways that will reduce the risk mature eucalypts pose to people and infrastructure in urban environments. One part of this study will calculate the probability that potentially dangerous branches are dropped by mature eucalypts. We will combine this information with data on pedestrian traffic in different parts of the urban environment to estimate the risk posed by mature eucalypts in different locations.
To gather as much data as possible from across the east coast of Australia, we are asking for your help as a citizen scientist.
For this study, we are seeking measurements from:
- Mature eucalypts of a circumference greater than 160cm (measured at breast height or approximately 1.3m above the ground).
- Trees in areas where branches that fall from the tree are unlikely to be removed (e.g. nature reserves, ex-farmland sites, your own private property).
The goal for citizen scientists is to take measurements of every branch (of circumference greater than 8cm) dropped by their chosen trees over the period of up to one year. Branches that are this size or larger can pose a risk to people. For this study we are including trees from the Eucalyptus, Angophora, Corymbia and Lophostemon genera from across the whole east coast of Australia.
If you are based in Canberra, you can record your initial tree sighting with Canberra Nature Map or via the NatureMapr app for Apple and Android phones). Enter a sighting for a gum tree as per usual, and Cara will see the new listing and contact you with an identification number. For consequent branch measurements, please use the Data Sheet.
If you are visiting trees outside of Canberra, please use the Data Sheet.
Please email through your data sheets and photos as often as you like to firstname.lastname@example.org.