EUCALYPTUS – A CONTROVERSIAL GENUS OF ALIEN TREES

Something Over Tea

Eucalyptus trees are commonly known here as blue gum or simply gum trees as they tend to exude copious amounts of gum from any ‘wound’ in the wood. They are well known in this country as a valuable source of timber, fuel and paper, as well as providing the much-needed nectar so necessary for the survival of bees (and thereby the honey business). The first plantations of fast-growing exotic trees, including Eucalyptus, were planted in 1875 in order to meet the needs for the mining and building industries. They have also been planted as windbreaks and for their ornamental value – the colouring of the bark can be particularly attractive.

Here is part of an avenue of Eucalyptus trees in a farming area. The presence of the wind turbine suggests they may originally have been planted as a wind break.

Unfortunately, many have escaped cultivation and become invasive, particularly…

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