Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus)

Eucalyptus is a fast growing tree

Image - Wikimedia / Xemenendura

The eucalyptus is a type of tree that you are going to allow me to say something that many people may not like, but I think that It has been given a bad name that it does not deserve.. In Spain it has been widely used as a reforestation plant, without taking into account the consequences, but that is not a problem for the tree, because after all, what it does, like any other plant, is to try to adapt to the environment in the one that is and grow.

And if it is in an area where the living conditions are very similar (or better) than those of its origin, then yes, it can naturalize and, in certain cases, become an invader. But, Why don't we start to see the eucalyptus with different eyes? In this article I want to talk about its characteristics and the species that are best known.

What is the origin of the eucalyptus?

Eucalyptus radiata is an evergreen tree.

Image - Wikimedia / John Tann

all eucalyptus They are native to the Australian mainland and nearby islands., like Tasmania. They tend to grow forming forests, such as in the Blue Mountains, which is located in New South Wales, on the mainland. This place, by the way, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2000.

A characteristic, to say the least unique, of these habitats are unprovoked forest fires, that is, natural ones. There are many plants that need these fires to be able to germinate, for example, such is the case of proteas in Africa. In the case of eucalyptus forests, it is thanks to fire -provided that, as I say, it is natural- that they can rejuvenate.

But of course, what is natural in one area is very dangerous in another. And it is that, as you surely know, the bark of these trees burns fast. And not only that: but when there is a fire, it quickly spreads over an increasingly larger area if there are eucalyptus trees or other pyrophilic plants. That is why it is not recommended to plant in certain areas.

What are the characteristics of eucalyptus trees?

Eucalyptus trees are evergreen trees that can reach a height of about 50 meters or more. The leaves are oval or elongated depending on the age of the plants., and are green or bluish-green in color.

Its flowers are grouped in round inflorescences, and are generally white.. These usually appear at the end of the summer and until the fall. And the fruit is a small capsule which contains very small and brown seeds.

Their root system is very long and strong, so much so that they should always be planted away from anything that could break, such as pipes for example. Also, It is important that you know that you cannot put any plant under a eucalyptusSo he wouldn't survive. This is so because the eucalyptus is an allelopathic tree; that is, it produces substances that inhibit the growth of other plants.

types of eucalyptus

There are many different species of eucalyptus, so many that we could write an encyclopedia about them. Therefore, we are going to talk to you only about the best known:

Rainbow eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta)

The rainbow eucalyptus is an evergreen tree.

Image - Wikimedia / LukaszBel

El rainbow eucalyptus it is, in all probability, the most striking Eucalyptus there is. It is native to Papua New Guinea, as well as Indonesia. It can reach 75 meters in height, and undoubtedly the most characteristic is the bark of its trunk, which is multicolored. But due to its origin, it is a plant that is only grown outdoors in warm climates, where there is never frost.

eucalyptus camaldulensis

The Eucalyptus is a large tree.

Image - Wikimedia / Mark Marathon

The red eucalyptus, as it is called in common parlance, is a tree native to Australia. that reaches 20 meters in height, although in its place of origin it can reach 60m. It is a plant that has been widely cultivated in Spain; so much so that it is estimated that some 170 hectares were allocated to its plantation.

Eucalyptus cinerea (Eucalyptus cinerea)

Eucalyptus cinerea or medicinal eucalyptus is a native of Australia. It can reach 15 meters in height, so it is one of the smallest varieties. The leaves are oval and bluish-green in color. It withstands frost very well.

Eucalyptus globulus

eucalyptus trees are fast

Image - Flickr / Tony Rodd

El Eucalyptus globulus It is a tree that is known by the names of common eucalyptus or blue eucalyptus. Originally from southeastern Australia and Tasmania, it is a plant that can reach a maximum height of 90 meters, although the normal thing is that it does not exceed 30m. In Spain, in the province of Lugo, there is a specimen called »O Avó», which has a height of 67 meters.

Eucalyptus gunni (Eucalyptus gunnii)

Eucalyptus gunnii is an evergreen tree

Image - Flickr / dan.kristiansen

El Eucalyptus gunnii, called bluegum, or Gunnii in popular parlance, is a tree that grows naturally in Tasmania. It grows between 15 and 25 meters in height, and has elongated bluish-green leaves. It withstands the cold well, and moderate frosts.

Eucalyptus polyanthemos

The red eucalyptus, as it is known, is a tree native to Australia that reaches 25 meters in height, and which has greyish-green or bluish leaves, which can be round or somewhat elongated. It can resist frosts down to -10ºC.

eucalyptus regnans

The giant eucalyptus can measure 100 meters

Image - Wikimedia / Pimlico27

El eucalyptus regnans It is the largest species of eucalyptus that exists; not in vain, can reach 110 meters in height. For this reason, it is known as giant eucalyptus or giant rubber tree. It is native to the southwest of the Australian continent, as well as Tasmania. And it supports the cold up to -5ºC.

What are the uses of eucalyptus?

Eucalyptus has been used and is used for, for example:

  • To reforest. It is a fast growing and very resistant tree. However, sometimes their characteristics are not taken into account, and that is when problems arise, because if they get out of control, they do not allow native plants to grow.
  • Wood. It is the main reason. This has been used, and is used, in carpentry.
  • Medicinal. The leaves contain an essential oil, which is used to relieve cold and flu symptoms.
  • Ornamental. It is not used much as a garden tree, as it needs a lot of space to grow well having very long roots. However, if you have a very large piece of land, it may be interesting to have one.

And you, what is your opinion of the eucalyptus tree?

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