The Eucalyptus Tree in Australia and Tasmania

The Genus Eucalyptus has over 800 species, ranging from shrubs to the tallest tree on earth. The one we will concentrate is Eucalyptus Regnans. Sometimes called the Gum Tree or Mountain Ash, these grow up to 327 feet and produce flowers and are evergreen, they are the tallest hardwood trees in the world.

The Eucalyptus is the native tree in Australia and Tasmania, but has been planted in many other countries for the speed it grows, the oil that it produces and the reclaiming of swamplands. They are found at an altitude of up to 3000 feet, need a lot of water, are very fast growing at a rate of more than 4 feet per year and have life span of 400 years. Their survival depends on a forest fire as their seed can open when these fires occur and of course they are highly inflammable and due to their extreme height are prone to lightning strikes. If a fire wipes out a whole forest their seeds will geminate and replace them up to their full height, over 300 feet in about 50 years.

Due to the amount of water they need, a lot of these trees were planted to drain swamps. This happened in Italy and other countries where the Mosquitoes were causing a serious problem.

As a timber it is now used for plywood, fence posts, and chip board also used extensively for making paper. In the early days when the telephone network started, they were used as telephone poles, but because they were not seasoned they twisted as they dried out and snapped all the wires.

Some people call them giant weeds as they are very invasive and can take over from the native trees. The land where they grow can be turned unsuitable for certain other types of plants. I hope these articles have been of some interest to you apart from the way trees grow as high. I have refrained from being too technical as it is this part that could fill a book on its own.

Next time, not so tall. But you may find it interesting, the Yew tree.

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