Eucalyptus trees are quick growers and many species reach a great height. Eucalyptus amygdalin (Labille ) is the tallest known tree, specimens attaining as much as 480 feet, exceeding in height even the Californian Big Tree (Sequoia gigantea). Many species yield valuable timber, others oils, kino, etc.
The Eucalyptus industry is becoming of economic importance to Australia, especially in New South Wales and Victoria. Many of the old species which give the oil of commerce have given way to other species which have been found to gave larger yields or better oils. About twenty-five species are at the present time being utilized for their oil.
The first leaves are broad, without stalks, of a shining whitish-green and are opposite and horizontal, but after four or five years these are succeeded by others of a more ensiform or sword-shaped form, 6 to 12 inches long, bluish-green in hue, which are alternate and vertical, i.e. with the edges turned towards the sky and earth, an arrangement more suited to the climate and productive of peculiar effects of light and shade. The flowers are single or in clusters, almost stalkless.
The Eucalyptus, especially E. globulus, has been successfully introduced into the south of Europe, Algeria, Egypt, Tahiti, South Africa and India, and has been extensively planted in California and also, with the object of lessening liability to droughts, along the line of the Central Pacific Railway.
It thrives in any situation, having a mean annual temperature not below 60 degrees F., but will not endure a temperature of less than 27 degrees F., and although many species of Eucalyptus will flourish out-of-doors in the south of England, they are generally grown, in this country, in pots as greenhouse plants.
It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought.
The leaves and the essential oil in them are used as an insect repellent. The trees can also be planted in wet areas where mosquitoes abound. The ground will be dried out by the trees, making it unsuitable for the mosquitoes to breed. A decoction of the leaves is used for repelling insects and vermin. Africans use finely powdered bark as an insect dust. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves. It is used in perfumery and in medicines.
Genus - Eucalyptus
Species - Globulus
Common name - Tasmanian Blue Gum
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 9 - 11
Height - 55m (180ft)
Spread - 15m (49ft)
Plant type - Large Tree
Vegetation type - Ornamental decidious
Exposure - Full sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay)
Water requirements - Average, drought tolerant
Germination rate - 79%
Leaf / Flower color - Blue-Green / --
|Germination||1. Place a single paper towel on a flat surface and spread the eucalyptus seeds onto the towel in an even layer. Place another paper towel on top of the seeds and then place the towel and seeds onto a plastic sandwich bag. Pour 2 tablespoons of water into the bag and seal it up. |
2. Place the bag into a refrigerator that holds a temperature between 35F (+2°C) and 40F (+4°C) degrees. Keep the seeds in the refrigerator between one and two months.
3. Fill a seed tray with a potting soil until the compartments are 3/4 full. Place one to two eucalyptus seeds into each compartment and then sprinkle the tops of the seeds with soil until the dirt reaches the top of the seed tray.
4. Water the soil thoroughly with plain tap water.
5. Place the seed tray in a location that receives direct sunlight, and that has a temperature of between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the seeds moist and they should germinate in about one to two weeks.