Aboriginal Trees Of Australia

The Aboriginal people of Australia have a deep and ancient relationship with the land and the trees that grow on it. For thousands of years, they have used the bark, leaves, wood, and sap of native trees for building shelters, tools, cooking and to heal. This article explores the indigenous trees of Australia and the many ways they have been used by the Aboriginal people.

Gum Trees

Eucalyptus trees are the best-known of all Australian trees, which is also called a gum tree because of the sticky sap that oozes from the trunk and branches of the tree when cut. Eucalyptus wood is strong and durable: ideal for building shelters and tools. Eucalyptus leaves are used for medicinal purposes, including the treatment of coughs and colds.


Another important tree in Aboriginal culture is the acacia, also known as wattle. The wood is lightweight and flexible: perfect for making spears, boomerangs, and other weapons. The sap of the Wattle tree is used as a natural adhesive, and the bark and leaves have medicinal properties that help heal open wounds and burns, for example.


One of the most unique properties of the trees used by Aboriginal people is their ability to be used as open fire cooking, eating utensils, and cookware. The bark of certain species of trees, such as the paperbark, can be peeled off in thin sheets that can be used for wrapping food or as plates and bowls. The hollowed-out trunks of some trees, such as the banksia, can be used as cups and containers for cooking and storing food.

Aboriginal people had a deep understanding of the different properties of each tree, particularly when used for firewood. They knew that some trees burned hot and fast, while others burned slow and steady. They also knew which trees produced a lot of smoke and which ones produced very little. One of the best firewood trees for the Aboriginal people was the casuarina, also known as the she-oak. This tree burns hot and slow, producing very little smoke.

Walking On Fire

Walking on fire was a common rite of passage for young men in many Aboriginal cultures. The wood of certain trees, such as the black wattle, was burned to create a bed of hot coals, and the young men would walk barefoot across it as a test of their bravery and endurance.

Spirit Trees

Certain trees were also considered to be ancestral or animal spirits. The bunya pine, for example, was believed to be the home of the bunyip, a mythical creature in Aboriginal culture. The banksia was believed to be the home of the spirits of the dead, and the hollowed-out trunks were used as burial containers.

Perhaps the most famous musical instrument of Aboriginal culture is the didgeridoo made from the hollowed branch of the eucalyptus tree. Clapsticks, another Aboriginal instrument, is made from Eucalyptus bark to keep the rhythm during around the fire spirit dances.

The Aboriginal people of Australia have a rich and complex relationship with the trees that grow on their land. They have used them for shelter, tools, medicine, ceremony, and spirituality, as well as for musical and artistic expression. The trees of Australia are not just a They have used the trees for physical purposes, such as building and tools, as well as spiritual and medicinal purposes. Certain trees were also believed to have protective properties and were used in rites of passage. The Aboriginal people's relationship with the Spirit trees of Australia is a testament to their deep respect for the environment – we all could learn from them.

Aborigional Trees, Article Posted April 21, 2023