Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable as Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadens
Listing and Conservation Advices Approved Conservation Advice for Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadens (Earp┐s gum) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2014ap) [Conservation Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadens.
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadens - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005dy) [Internet].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): August 2014 list) as Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadens
Scientific name Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadens [56148]
Family Myrtaceae:Myrtales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author  
Infraspecies author L.A.S.Johnson & Blaxell
Reference Hill, K.D. & Johnson, L.A.S. (1991) Systematic studies in the eucalypts - 3. New taxa in Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae). Telopea 4(2): 225, figs 1 (map), 2 [tax. nov.]
Other names Eucalyptus parramattensis decadens [67339]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

The current conservation status of Earp's Gum, Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadens, under Australian and State Government legislation, is as follows:

National: Listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

New South Wales: Listed as Vulnerable under the Threatened species Conservation Act 1995.

Scientific name: Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadensL.A.S.Johnson & Blaxell

Common name: Earp's Gum, Earp's Dirty Gum

Synonym: Eucalyptus parramattensis decadens

Eucalyptus parramattensis was originally described from material collected at Fairfield, Sydney, in 1913 (Hall 1913 cited in Bell 2006). Two subspecies are generally accepted within E. parramattensis: E. parramattensis subsp. decadens and E. parramattensis subsp. parramattens (Bell 2006). Sub-species decadens is distinguished from sub-species parramattensis by its larger buds, fruits and leaves (Hill & Johnson 1991). However, Eucalyptus parramattensis var. sphaerocalyx, described in 1934 (Bell 2006), has been recognised at sub-species level by Brooker and colleagues (2002).

E. parramattensis subsp. decadensis a small tree, usually less than 7 m in height, although it can grow to 15 m (Hill & Johnson 1991). A few individuals in the lower Hunter region exceed 15 m (Bell 2006). The bark is smooth but sheds over the whole trunk in large plates or flakes to leave a smooth or granular mottled surface of white and various shades of grey (Brooker & Kleinig 1999).

The girth of these trees can be substantial, with one stump measured at over 200 cm in diameter.

Earp's Gum is endemic to the Hunter Region, with two distinct mega populations on the Tomago Sandbeds and at Cessnock-Kurri (Bell 2006). This subspecies is known from six small populations occurring within these regions in New South Wales (Bell 2006; Hill cited in Harden 1991; Johnson & Hill 1991; Quinn et al. 1995), in dry sclerophyll woodland on sandy soils, in low often wet sites (Bell 2006).

Fifteen sub-populations of the species have been identified in the Cessnock area, with an estimated total abundance of 2500 to more than 8000 individuals (Bell 2006).

North of Port Stephens there appears to be a small population of around 60 individuals near Hawks Nest (Bell 2006).

Earp's Gum has been extensively used in the rehabilitation of mine sites on the Tomago Sandbeds. The species has also been used for rehabilitation of mining operations near Salamander Bay, although it does not occur naturally in this area. The species was also planted in association with a mining operation in the Catherine Hill Bay area (Bell 2006).

Almost all Earp's Gum populations on the Tomago Sandbeds are in areas with restricted public access as the land is managed by Hunter Water (Bell 2006). In the Cessnock area, some plants are found in Werakata National Park (Bell 2004 cited in Bell 2006).

Earp's Gum occurs in low-lying, often swampy areas (Johnson & Hill 1991), and in woodlands with associates such as Eucalyptus racemosa, E. globoidea and Angophora bakeri (Hill & Johnson 1991; Quinn et al. 1995). In the regional vegetation classification of the National Parks and Wildlife Service Earp's Gum occurs in two vegetation communities: Tamago Sand Swamp and the Kurri Sands Swamp (Bell 2006) communities, both of which occur on poor sandy soils from either Pleistocene sands or Permian sediments (DECCW NSW 2009).

Earp's Gum is a long-lived species which flowers and fruits profusely throughout its range. Flowering usually occurs from November to January and seed dispersal is mainly by wind. Pollination is mostly likely to occur by the foraging activities of bats, birds and insects (House 1997 cited in DECCW NSW 2009). Earp's Gum germinates easily and readily re-sprouts after bushfire or other disturbance (Bell 2006).

Seed maturation takes several months. Mature seed is largely retained in woody capsules in the canopy, and is released by the disturbance of fire in hot, dry conditions (House 1997 cited in DECCW NSW 2009).

Habitat Loss and Fragmentation

The threats to Earp's Gum are mostly due to habitat loss and fragmentation. The threats highlighted in the Draft Recovery Plan for this species (DECCW NSW 2009) include:

  • inappropriate fire regimes, particularly high frequency fire over a long period
  • physical damage and/ or erosion from trial bike riding and vehicles
  • localised weed invasion
  • rubbish dumping.

All known populations occur in close proximity to areas of agricultural and urban development and it is likely that these developments have depleted populations of this species (Quinn et al. 1995). Hill and Johnson (1991) also identified residential development as a significant threat to Earp's Gum.

A Draft Recovery Plan (DECCW NSW 2009) has been prepared for Earp's Gum. The Recovery Plan proposed for 2010–2020 aims to abate the identified threats and maintain the habitat of Earps Gum across its natural range to ensure its long term persistance in the wild.

The following objectives are identified in the draft:

  • Distribute information that assists in conserving and managing Earp's Gum.
  • Ensure the appropriate use of Earp's Gum in rehabilitation projects.
  • Raise awareness of Earp's Gum and facilitate community involvement in the recovery program.
  • Ensure appropriate protection of the Fern Bay form.

Additionally, Bell (2006) identified the following priorities for the long term protection of Earp's Gum in his paper to the Department of Environment and Conservation:

  • Further establishment of conservation reserves in areas known to support quality habitat for Earp's Gum in the Cessnock area and Tomago Sandbeds.
  • Research into the fire ecology of Earp's Gum, as high frequency fires are likely to be a serious threat to the species' long term survival.
  • Research into the long-term impacts of the extraction of groundwater from the Tomago Sandbeds, in consultation with Hunter Water.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadensin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006kj) [Internet].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Habitat loss, modification and fragmentation due to urban development Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadensin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006kj) [Internet].

Bell, S. (2006). Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadens: Status, Distribution and Habitat. Report to Department of Environment and Conservation, NSW. Eastcoast Flora Survey.

Brooker, M I H., Connors, J R., Slee, A V. & Duffy, S.M. (2002). EUCLID eucalypts of southern Australia. 2nd ed. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO.

Brooker, M.I.H. & D.A. Kleinig (1999). Field Guide to Eucalypts. Volume 1, South-eastern Australia. Hawthorn, Victoria: Bloomings Books.

Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW (DECCW NSW) (2009). Draft National Recovery Plan: Earp's Dirty Gum Eucaluptus parramattensis subsp. decadens. Sydney: Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW.

Harden, G.J. (ed.) (1991). Flora of New South Wales, Volume Two. Kensington, NSW: University of NSW Press.

Hill, K.D. & L.A.S. Johnson (1991). Systematic studies in the eucalypts - 3. New taxa in Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae). Telopea. 4(2):223-267.

Quinn, F., J.B. Williams, C.L. Gross & J. Bruhl (1995). Report on rare and threatened plants of north-eastern New South Wales. Armidale: University of New England.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Eucalyptus parramattensis subsp. decadens in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sun, 21 Sep 2014 17:16:44 +1000.