Agripedia

All you need to know about the Rainbow Gum or Eucalyptus deglupta

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

Eucalyptus deglupta is a species of tall trees, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus, Mindanao gum, or rainbow gum, which is commonly found in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. These species of trees are mostly known for their fragrant leaves and for being the main food source for koalas.

The skin of this tree is orange. When the skin is pale, the inner skin appears as pale green, red, orange, grey and purplish brown. The reason why the Rainbow Eucalyptus comes in so many colours is that when this incredible tree grows, the orange skin on it expands and the green skin underneath it is exposed. In the next season, this green skin will break down and the reddish-red skin, and, later, the maroon, will come out in many different colours.

Uses

Eucalyptus deglupta is largely grown for pulp production. It produces pulp from its wood and skin. The timber is pretty expensive and is for small and large scale construction, flooring, furniture and boat building. As the bark of this tree has attractive colours, it is also used as a decorative object. The tree is capable of colonizing land eroded by landslides and areas of recent volcanic activity. It has been used in reforestation and in enriching planting trials in a logged-over forest, where it has shown considerable potential.

Cultivation details

This is the only species of Eucalyptus that is adapted to lowland and lower montane rainforest habitats in the humid tropics. It does not grow naturally in areas with a pronounced dry season but occurs in those where the annual rainfall is very high and the monthly rainfall usually exceeds 150 mm. It is found at elevations from sea level to 1,800 metres in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 23 - 31°c and the mean annual rainfall is 2,500 - 5,000 mm.

Eucalyptus monocultures are an environmental disaster. They are voracious, allelopathic and encourage the worst possible attitudes to land use and conservation.

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