Koala food trees for Adelaide Hills and foothills
Koalas need a wide assortment of food choices mostly provided by different species of Eucalyptus to satisfy their nutritional requirements. An assortment of koala preferred Eucalypts is by far the best to have growing if you want koalas to be able to feed nearby.
Captive koalas may reject foliage of certain species at certain times of the year whilst happily eating the same species for the rest of the year. It appears leaves vary in constitution at different times of the year, may contain more toxins at some stages, and will vary from tree to tree even within the same species.
Koalas generally favour habitats on soils with higher fertility and moisture availability. They prefer younger foliage containing more nitrogen, less fibre and more moisture and sugars providing an increase in digestibility compared to mature foliage.
Look which of the species below is growing well in your area and plant these supplemented by others on the list. If they are currently growing well in your area, the species must be suited to it. If your land appears to be becoming dryer over the years also plant koala food species from slightly more northern areas or areas of a lower altitude which may prove to be hardier in the future.
Where possible plant in groups or close proximity to other koala food trees and away from major roads. Consider neighbours' trees and other corridor links and proximity to bush. Try and keep away from dogs.
Species other than Eucalyptus can provide dense shade for shelter during hot weather and some may occasionally be eaten.
The following are koala preferred Eucalypt species native to the Adelaide Hills region. Primary species (very commonly eaten) are marked in bold. Use both primary species and a mix of other species.
Eucalyptus camaldulensis -River Red Gum
Eucalyptus goniocalyx - Long Leaved Box
Eucalyptus leucoxylon - Blue Gum
Eucalyptus leucoxylon pruinosa - Small flowered Blue Gum
Eucalyptus microcarpa- Grey Box
Eucalyptus obliqua - Messmate Stringybark
Eucalyptus viminalis viminalis -Manna Gum or Ribbon Gum
Eucalyptus viminalis cygnetensis -Rough-barked Manna Gum
Other parts of SA
Eucalyptus leucoxylon megalocarpa from Robe area but grows well in the Adelaide Hills usually with largish red flowers.
Reference- Species information taken from Australian Koala Foundation - National Koala Tree Planting List Dave Mitchell 2015
Last Modified January 30th, 2020