Red Gum, Morey Red Gum

Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Myrtaceae


Origin

This fast growing tree, originally from Australia, is used for firewood, wind-breaks, erosion control and reforestation. Red Gum Eucalyptus is a massive tree that grows to 24 m-40 m (80 ft-120 ft) and a diameter of 2 m (78 in). The wood is durable, easy to saw and resistant to termites. The tree is tolerant to many harsh conditions including: drought, salt, heat, alkaline soil, and water-logging. Red Gum Eucalyptus is the most widely planted eucalyptus and is grown on plantations in many countries such as Argentina, US, Egypt, Kenya, Zimbabwe. When oil is extracted by steam from the leaves or tips of branches, it is used as an antiseptic, astringent and cold medicine. The oil is extremely aromatic and should only be used topically and in a very dilute form

Cultivation

Propagation is by tiny seeds, planted in a moist seedbed and shaded by palm or banana branches for the first 4 weeks of growth. The seedlings may then be planted in a prepared field 2 m (78 in) apart in all directions. Red Gum Eucalyptus tolerates a variety of soil types from sandy to clay. It grows in areas with rainfall of 250 mm (2 in) to 635 mm (25 in). It does not compete well with weeds in its early stages of growth. The root system is deep and spreading. Because of its capacity to use great amounts of water, it can become a nuisance plant near wetlands. Red Gum Eucalyptus is a tropical, subtropical tree which is tolerant of light frosts, 3o-5º C (37o-42º F). It does lose its leaves, shed bark and is self pruning by dropping its branches.

Harvesting and Seed Production

Seeds are very small about 1.5 mm (0.05 in) long. The seeds germinate easily and can be stored in cold, dry conditions for a long time. The plants do hybridize easily. The annual wood yield is 20-25 m3/ha (2.25 – 3 cords/acre) on plantations in Argentina. Its branches can be cut frequently for firewood.

Pests and Diseases

E. camaludenses is resistant to most diseases and pests.