This painting of stringybark trees was inspired by one of my many walks in the South Australian countryside.
The stringybark is a very tall straight tree and the bark is rough, fibrous and stringy, hence it’s common name.
There are 28 species of Stringybarks recognised in Australia, and they are restricted to South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Stringybarks are common rough-barked forest and woodland trees occurring on a variety of sites and often on nutritionally poor soils.
In exceptionally fertile locations some stringybark species (in particular messmate stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) can be very large, reaching over 80 metres in height.
More typically, stringybarks are medium-sized trees in the 10 to 40 metre range
A VERY USEFUL TREE
The bark can be used for many things including bark paintings, shelters early settlers huts, canoes and dishes after it has been treated. The wood of the tree can also be used to make tools and weapons.
STRINGYBARK TREES By Henry Lawson
There's the whitebox and pine on the ridges afar,
Where the iron-bark, blue-gum, and peppermint are;
There is many another, but dearest to me,
And the king of them all was the stringy-bark tree.
Then of stringy-bark slabs were the walls of the hut,
And from stringy-bark saplings the rafters were cut;
And the roof that long sheltered my brothers and me
Was of broad sheets of bark from the stringy-bark tree.
And when sawn-timber homes were built out in the West,
Then for walls and for ceilings its wood was the best;
And for shingles and palings to last while men be,
There was nothing on earth like the stringy-bark tree.
Far up the long gullies the timber-trucks went,
Over tracks that seemed hopeless, by bark hut and tent;
And the gaunt timber-finder, who rode at his ease,
Led them on to a gully of stringy-bark trees.
Now still from the ridges, by ways that are dark,
Come the shingles and palings they call stringy-bark;
Though you ride through long gullies a twelve months you’ll see
But the old whitened stumps of the stringy-bark tree.
Oil and acrylic paints on stretched cavas
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