Eucalyptus globulus (PROTA)

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Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
List of species

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distribution in Africa (planted)
1, tree habit; 2, flowering twig; 3, leaf; 4, flower bud; 5, fruit. Redrawn and adapted by Iskak Syamsudin
trees planted along road (Plants of Hawaii)
habit of free-standing tree (Plants of Hawaii)
plantation (Plants of Hawaii)
top of young plant (University of Hawaii)
leaves of young tree and old trees (University of Hawaii)
flowering branch (Plants of Hawaii)
flower (Plants of Hawaii)
young fruits (Plants of Hawaii)
fruits and seeds (Plants of Hawaii)
seedlings (Plants of Hawaii)
wood (Carlton McLendon, Inc.)
wood in transverse section
wood in tangential section
wood in radial section

Eucalyptus globulus Labill.

Protologue: Voy. rech. Pérouse 1: 153, pl. 13 (1800).
Family: Myrtaceae
Chromosome number: 2n = 22

Vernacular names

  • Blue gum, Tasmanian blue gum, southern blue gum, fever tree (En).
  • Gommier bleu, arbre à fièvre (Fr).
  • Gomeiro azul, eucalipto comum (Po).
  • Mkaratusi (Sw).

Origin and geographic distribution

Eucalyptus globulus is naturally distributed in Tasmania and south-eastern Australia, but is now widely planted and naturalized in subtropical regions around the world. In tropical Africa it is found in cool highland regions, especially in Ethiopia, where it was introduced around 1890. The introduction of Eucalyptus globulus to Ethiopia is said to have played a major role in the development of the country, and today the tree is important in and around Addis Ababa for its use as fuelwood, charcoal, and construction material. It is also planted in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.


The wood of Eucalyptus globulus is used for poles, posts, construction, low-grade veneer, plywood, flooring, furniture, tools, boxes, crates, pallets, railway sleepers, fibreboard and particleboard. It is also suitable for marine construction, ship and boat building, vehicle bodies, toys and novelties, turnery, interior trim, core stock, joinery and mine props.

Eucalyptus globulus is very important as fuelwood and for charcoal making, and it is an important source of pulp for the production of printing, writing, specialty and tissue papers.

The leaves of Eucalyptus globulus are the principal source of eucalyptus oil in the world. Eucalyptus oil is used for medicinal purposes, especially against cough and as an expectorant, but it also has febrifuge, tonic, astringent, antiseptic, haemostatic and vermifugal properties.

The flowers are a source of nectar for bees, giving honey with a flavour like muscat grapes. The dense root system makes the tree suitable for erosion control. Eucalyptus globulus is also used for windbreaks, and young plants make a useful living fence because they are unpalatable to livestock. It has been used in land reclamation, including the drying up of swamps. The tree has ornamental value. Carbon sequestration in pulpwood plantations of Eucalyptus globulus is a modern use.

In African traditional medicine, an infusion or decoction of the leaves is taken, or applied externally in baths, lotions or enemas, against asthma, bronchitis, tonsillitis, colds, urinary problems and haemorrhages. The vapour of boiled dried leaves is inhaled against asthma, cough, flu, croup and diphtheria, or fine leaf powder is inhaled. In Sudan a decoction of the leaves is drunk to treat malaria and in Madagascar the leaves are heated and the vapour inhaled against this disease. Powdered or bruised leaves or a leaf decoction are applied on abscesses and wounds. A paste of powdered leaves is rubbed in against rheumatism. In Kenya a leaf decoction is used in a bath to treat chickenpox in children. In Ethiopia a leaf extract is gargled for treatment of meningitis. In southern Africa the leaves are used against stomach-ache. Gum resin from the plant is used against diarrhoea. Various leaf preparations are used as insect repellent, and in Kenya the fresh or dried leaves are used for controlling snails.

Production and international trade

For 1995 it was estimated that worldwide Eucalyptus plantations amounted to about 14.6 million ha, of which 1.8 million ha in Africa, much of this in South Africa.

It is estimated that worldwide up to 2.5 million ha are planted with Eucalyptus globulus, mostly in regions with a temperate climate, e.g. in Spain, Portugal, Chile and Australia. In Ethiopia about 145,000 ha of Eucalyptus have been planted, a large proportion consisting of Eucalyptus globulus.

In southern Africa the leaves are sometimes sold in markets for medicinal use. China dominates the world market of Eucalyptus oils.


The heartwood is pale grey to pink or reddish brown, and fairly distinctly demarcated from the paler, up to 5 cm wide sapwood. The grain is often interlocked, sometimes straight with patches of spiral grain; texture moderately coarse. The wood often contains gum veins. Brittle heart is common.

The wood has a density of 670–920 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content, but wood from plantations often has a lower density than that from natural stands. Shrinkage is extremely high: from green to oven-dry 6.5–13.2% radial and 11.7–19.1% tangential. Air-drying may pose problems, because twisting and collapse can be severe. Care must be taken in kiln drying to prevent tangential checking, and quarter-sawing is recommended before drying as well as initial air drying to 30% moisture content. A delicate balance of air drying, kiln drying, and steam reconditioning can address problems with collapse. The dried wood is not stable in service.

The wood is hard and strong. At 12% moisture content, the modulus of rupture is 105–213 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 10, 600–20,400 N/mm², compression parallel to grain 56–82 N/mm², shear 8–10 N/mm², cleavage 28–35 N/mm and Janka side hardness 6850–11,480 N.

The wood is rather difficult to work, due to its high density and the presence of interlocked grain. Blunting of sawteeth and cutting edges is severe. Nailing is best done after pre-boring. The gluing properties are satisfactory. The wood bends well and accepts most finishes, and it sands to a smooth surface.

The wood is moderately durable at best, being susceptible to insect, termite and marine borer attacks. The sapwood is susceptible to Lyctus borers. The heartwood is resistant to treatment with preservatives, but the sapwood can be impregnated.

The wood of Eucalyptus globulus has an energy value of 18,000–19,400 kJ/kg. It is recorded to burn freely, leave little ash and carbonize easily to good charcoal.

The wood fibres are (0.3–)0.8–1.1(–1.5) mm long, with a diameter of (10–)15–21 (–28) μm and an average wall thickness of 3.0 μm. Pulp can be produced using the sulphate (kraft), sulphite, or bisulphite processes, and is usually bleached. Wood from 10-year-old trees from Australia contained 45% cellulose, 23% glucuronoxylan and 27% lignin. A bleached kraft pulp yield of 56% was obtained, with 3.2 m³ wood needed to obtain 1 t of bleached pulp.

The leaves yield 0.75–6.0% essential oil, with 44–90% 1,8-cineole, and also camphene (up to 23.1%), α-pinene (2.6–20.1%), globulol (up to 7.3%), limonene (0.5–7.8%), β-pinene (0.1–2.7%), α-terpineol (0.1–5.8%) and p-cimene (0.1–8.2%). Several euglobals, having acylphloroglucinol-monoterpene or sesquiterpene structures have also been isolated. The essential oil has shown antibacterial and antifungal activity. It also has anti-amoebic activity and larvicidal activity against Anopheles stephensi. Essential oil extracts have shown in-vivo analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in rats and mice. There is no evidence for antimalarial action, and the belief in the antimalarial effects of Eucalyptus globulus may stem from its history of being planted to drain swamps in southern Europe, and hence its indirect role in malaria control. Poisoning from the essential oil is described in humans.

Leaf extracts have shown antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects. Water extracts of the leaf have shown antihyperglycaemic and molluscicidal activities. Ether extracts of the leaf showed anthelmintic activity against Strongyloides stercoralis and Ancylostoma spp. A decoction of the leaves had in-vivo diuretic activity in rats. An ethanol extract of the leaf and a decoction of the seed have shown in-vivo anti-inflammatory activity in mice and rats. Euglobals from the leaf have shown anti-inflammatory effects, inhibitory effects on the activation of Epstein-Barr virus and anti-tumour activity. Powdered leaves and leaf extracts provide protection against the pulse storage pest Callosobruchus maculatus. The leaves contain tannins (ellagitannin, gallotannin and catechin derivatives) and flavonoids (flavone glycosides with the aglycones quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol and rutin).

Eucalyptus globulus is recorded to have allelopathic effects on undergrowth and crops near the tree, but less than Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh.


  • Evergreen, large to very large tree up to 70 m tall; bole straight, cylindrical, up to 200 cm in diameter; bark surface usually smooth, white to cream, yellow or grey; crown narrow, but rounded in trees growing in the open.
  • Leaves alternate, pendulous, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole rounded, channelled or flattened, 1.5–5 cm long; blade narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, sometimes sickle-shaped, (10–)12–28(–30) cm × 1–3(–4) cm, acuminate at apex, leathery, glabrous, pinnately veined, aromatic when crushed.
  • Inflorescence an axillary, simple, umbel-like condensed and reduced dichasium, 1–7-flowered; peduncle flattened or rounded, up to 25 mm long.
  • Flowers bisexual, regular, whitish; pedicel up to 8 mm long; flower buds top-shaped, divided into an obconical, ribbed or smooth hypanthium (lower part) 5–12 mm × 5–17 mm, and a flattened, hemispherical operculum (upper part) 3–15 mm × 5–17 mm, having a short knob; stamens numerous; ovary inferior, 3–5-celled.
  • Fruit an obconical to globular capsule 5–21 mm × 6–24 mm, enclosed in a woody hypanthium, opening with 3–5 somewhat exserted valves, glaucous or not, many-seeded.
  • Seeds 1–3 mm long. Seedling with epigeal germination.

Other botanical information

Eucalyptus comprises about 800 species, endemic to Australia, except for about 10 species in the eastern part of South-East Asia. Many Eucalyptus species are cultivated outside their natural distribution area, in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions, because of their rapid growth and adaptation to a wide range of ecological conditions. In Africa Eucalyptus globulus has long been the most important Eucalyptus species, but its importance has declined, although it is still important in cooler climates. Nowadays the main commercial species in Africa are Eucalyptus grandis W.Hill ex Maiden in more fertile locations, Eucalyptus camaldulensis in drier regions, and Eucalyptus robusta Sm. in tropical regions.

Eucalyptus is divided into several subgenera (7–10, depending on the author), which are subdivided into many sections and series. The results of phylogenetic studies within Eucalyptus suggest that the genus is polyphyletic, hence not of a single evolutionary origin, and consequently it has been proposed to divide the genus into several distinct genera. This has not yet been done, mainly because of the nomenclatural whirlpool this would bring about. Eucalyptus species hybridize easily, which adds to the taxonomic complexity.

Eucalyptus globulus sensu lato comprises four closely related taxa that are often considered subspecies, but that have been treated as distinct species by some authors. In this treatment, the former approach is followed, and the following subspecies are distinguished:

  • subsp. globulus (‘Tasmanian blue gum’): large to very large tree up to 70 m tall, with smooth bark, long leaves and large, solitary, glaucous buds and fruits. It is widely cultivated in Ethiopia and Eritrea, at 1700–3200 m altitude in trial plots, pilot plantations, woodlots, shelter belts, large-scale plantations and as isolated trees in farmland. It is also recorded from Somalia, Kenya and Uganda.
  • subsp. bicostata (Maiden, Blakely & Simmonds) J.B.Kirkp. (‘southern blue gum’): large tree up to 45 m tall, with sessile buds and fruits, 3 together. It is grown in Ethiopia at 2000–2800 m altitude in trial plots and pilot plantations, and is also recorded from Kenya and Tanzania.
  • subsp. pseudoglobulus (Naudin ex Maiden) J.B.Kirkp. (‘Victorian eurabbie’): large tree up to 45 m tall, with pedicellate, glaucous buds and fruits, 3 together on a broad, flattened peduncle. There are no records from tropical Africa.
  • subsp. maidenii (F.Muell.) J.B.Kirkp. (‘Maiden’s gum’): large tree up to 45 m tall, with long peduncle and 7-flowered inflorescences, and less glaucous and rough buds and fruits. It is grown in Ethiopia at 2000–2350 m altitude in trial plots and pilot plantations, and also planted in DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Angola.


Wood-anatomical description (IAWA hardwood codes):

  • Growth rings: (1: growth ring boundaries distinct); (2: growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent).
  • Vessels: 5: wood diffuse-porous; (7: vessels in diagonal and/or radial pattern); 9: vessels exclusively solitary (90% or more); 13: simple perforation plates; 22: intervessel pits alternate; (23: shape of alternate pits polygonal); 26: intervessel pits medium (7–10 μm); (27: intervessel pits large ( 10 μm)); 29: vestured pits; 31: vessel-ray pits with much reduced borders to apparently simple: pits rounded or angular; 42: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 100–200 μm; 43: mean tangential diameter of vessel lumina 200 μm; (45: vessels of two distinct diameter classes, wood not ring-porous); 47: 5–20 vessels per square millimetre; 56: tyloses common.
  • Tracheids and fibres: 60: vascular/vasicentric tracheids present; 62: fibres with distinctly bordered pits; 63: fibre pits common in both radial and tangential walls; 66: non-septate fibres present; 69: fibres thin- to thick-walled.
  • Axial parenchyma: 76: axial parenchyma diffuse; 78: axial parenchyma scanty paratracheal; 79: axial parenchyma vasicentric; 92: four (3–4) cells per parenchyma strand; 93: eight (5–8) cells per parenchyma strand.
  • Rays: (96: rays exclusively uniseriate); (97: ray width 1–3 cells); 104: all ray cells procumbent; 106: body ray cells procumbent with one row of upright and/or square marginal cells; 115: 4–12 rays per mm; 116: 12 rays per mm.
  • Mineral inclusions: 136: prismatic crystals present; (141: prismatic crystals in non-chambered axial parenchyma cells); 142: prismatic crystals in chambered axial parenchyma cells.
(D. Louppe, P. Détienne & E.A. Wheeler)

Growth and development

Initial growth is fast, but the growth slows down later. In East Africa trees are recorded to obtain a height of 30 m in 15 years, and of 55 m after 50 years. In dry regions a maximum height of 30 m is reached after 25 years. First flowering occurs at 4–5 years of age. Pollination is by insects, and fruits ripen in about 11 months. Seeds are wind-dispersed. Dying branches are shed by the tree.


Eucalyptus globulus grows in the tropics at 2000–2800(–3300) m altitude, and in mild temperate climates at 0–1000 m altitude. The mean annual temperature is 9–19°C, the mean maximum temperature of the warmest month 19–30°C, and the mean minimum temperature of the coldest month 1–12°C. The average annual rainfall is 500–2400 mm, with a dry season of maximal 7 months. Seedlings are sensitive to frost, but the tree becomes increasingly frost tolerant with age. The tree needs good drainage, hence grows best on deep, sandy-clay soils. A pH of 5–7 is preferred, and Eucalyptus globulus does not tolerate highly calcareous or alkaline soils.

Eucalyptus globulus does not tolerate shade, and is hence an obligate initial colonizer, which means that it does not spread easily into established forest. Thus, outside of its natural range it is rarely found in self-maintaining, naturalized populations without human intervention. Seed dispersal distance from a 40 m tall tree with winds of 10 km/h was 20 m; hence seed dispersal is normally limited to the edges of plantations. However, Eucalyptus globulus can spread into non-forest or disturbed ecosystems, eventually forming a monoculture that excludes other plants. Phenol and terpene compounds of the leaves seem to be responsible for allelopathic suppression of vegetation in the understory of dense populations.

Eucalyptus globulus has a number of mechanisms for resisting fire. The shaggy bark is highly flammable and allows fire to spread quickly to the canopy, but the thick inner bark of mature trees prevents damage to the inner part of the tree in most cases. Post-fire regeneration is quick. Damaged bark is shed and buds resprout rapidly. In the case of top-kill, many new sprouts appear from the so-called lignotuber, a woody subterranean storage stem that resists fire and other damage to the aboveground stem. Fruits are resistant to fire, and high rates of seedbanking in the soil, as well as massive seed release from fire-damaged branches, lead to post-fire regeneration from seed. Hence Eucalyptus globulus spreads fire readily, causing grave potential danger to surrounding areas, but it recovers from fire itself.

The combination of its flammability and its colonizer capacity make Eucalyptus globulus a potential threat to local ecosystems. In case of a fire, Eucalyptus globulus would worsen and spread the fire, and in the aftermath its fire resistance, prolific seed production and ability to resprout from lignotubers would give it an advantage over other species damaged by the fire, hence permitting it to colonize adjacent zones.

Propagation and planting

The 1000-seed weight is 2.5–17 g. Airtight storage at 4–6% moisture content and temperatures below 0°C is recommended, although viability can be maintained for several years in airtight storage at 3°C with 6–10% moisture content. Seed orchards from grafted material can be top-pruned before seed abscission to more easily harvest seed from the ground. Harvesting in this manner can be started as early as 5 years after orchard establishment. Seed thus produced has a germination rate of up to 80% in 4–14 days. Seedlings are raised in containers filled with sterilized soil, leaving 2 seedlings per container. Young plants are very susceptible to insect attack.

In most tropical and subtropical countries outplanting in the field occurs when the plants are 3–6 months old and 15–35 cm tall. Where Eucalyptus globulus is planted in monoculture plantations, de-brushing by tractor is often carried out. This is followed by ploughing and disking. In situations where this is impractical due to slope, rocky soil or lack of equipment, seedlings can be planted in holes in soil worked to at least 1 m in diameter around the hole. In all cases, it is preferable to leave some months between soil preparation and planting, to allow clods of soil to break down. On slopes in particularly wet or dry climates it is recommendable to prepare raised rows either to drain excess moisture or to capture scarce moisture, and in both cases plants go on the top of the mounds. Initial plant spacing ranges from 1 m × 1 m to 3.3 m × 3.3 m, depending on the purpose of the trees (use for pulp, fuel and posts allows closer spacing than use for sawn timber). For mechanization, a distance between rows of 3 m is necessary, and 3 m × 3 m is the minimum spacing necessary for mechanical weeding in two directions. A planting density of 4500 trees/ha and a survival rate of 64% are reported from Ethiopian community woodlots used for fuel and wooden poles. In Ethiopia farmers sometimes spread branches with mature fruits on the site, and when the fruits have opened and the seeds have been dispersed, the soil is kept moist to ensure germination. When the plants have established, the branches are removed, and later the stand is thinned to a suitable spacing.

Planting should be as early as possible after the start of the rainy season, to benefit fully from the rains and from the residual heat in the soil after a hot dry season. The moisture in the rootball gives some resilience to the seedling, allowing it to withstand a dry spell of up to 2–3 weeks between planting and the onset of consistent rains. If there are losses due to adverse conditions, it is imperative to plant replacements as soon as possible so as to maintain a uniform stand. Fertilization of the young plants can be effected from a few weeks to 3 months after planting by dressing a balanced fertilizer (according to soil conditions) at a distance of 10–30 cm from the plant.

Methods of in-vitro propagation have been developed using meristematic tips.


Weeding is critical in the first years of development, but becomes less important after closure of the canopy. Fertilization is common but not universal for young plants. For the production of timber, plantations are thinned at 6 and 10 years after planting, with up to 70% of the trees being removed.

The tree coppices well, and after harvest a number of shoots are allowed to coppice from the stump. In the first two years after harvest these are thinned to leave 1–3 shoots, depending on a preference for fewer, larger shoots or many smaller shoots. It is also possible to thin at 2–3 years and thus have an appreciable auxiliary harvest of small poles in addition to the main harvest years later. With each successive harvest, fewer of the cut stumps coppice, which is why normally 3 coppice harvests are considered the maximum before necessary replanting. However, a site in the Nilgiri mountains (India) is said to have produced satisfactorily for over 100 years on 10 year coppice rotations.

Replanting of an old plantation requires the complete removal of old stumps. This is an onerous task, accomplished either by meticulous shredding of stems and lignotubers or by chemical treatment. The lignotubers and root mass can also theoretically be dug up to be sold as fuelwood.

Diseases and pests

Botryosphaeria stem canker is prevalent in plantations of Eucalyptus globulus and other Eucalyptus species in Ethiopia. It is caused by Botryosphaeria parva, and results in die-back and death of trees under stress conditions. Mycosphaerella spp. cause a leaf spot that is particularly damaging to Eucalyptus globulus in summer rainfall areas, and is the main reason for the lack of Eucalyptus globulus in large parts of South Africa. Aulographina eucalypti and Kirramyces epicoccoides are other important leaf diseases. Seed and seedling fungal diseases such as Penicillium spp., Fusarium spp., Botrytis cinerea, little leaf phytoplasma disease, and damping off can be controlled by proper phytosanitary techniques. Use of vigorous, disease-free seedlings is an important measure for prevention of phytosanitary and insect problems, as is treatment with chemical pesticides when necessary.

An important pest of Eucalyptus spp., including Eucalyptus globulus, is the eucalyptus snout beetle (Gonipterus scutellatus), of which both larval and adult stages cause damage, especially by feeding on the leaves. Repeated defoliation leads to stunted growth, and trees may die. Adults, larvae and eggs are carried on plants for planting and accompanying soil, whereas adults may also spread by flying. Biological control using the egg parasite Anaphes nitens has been successful in reducing attacks in Mauritius, France and Italy. Chemical treatment is not recommended because of its adverse effects on honey bees visiting the trees. Gonipterus scutellatus is of Australian origin, and is recorded to be present in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho. Differences in susceptibility exist between Eucalyptus spp., with Eucalyptus globulus belonging to the more susceptible species. The presence of the highly damaging wood boring beetle Phoracantha semipunctata accounts in part for the rarity of Eucalyptus globulus in South Africa. Phoracantha semipunctata (eucalyptus longhorned borer) attacks young trees and stumps of recently harvested trees. It is controlled by removing and burning infected material. Blue gum psyllid (Ctenarytaina eucalypti) distorts foliage and kills leaves and twigs; it is controlled using the parasitoid wasp Psyllaephagus pilosus. In Africa termites are a risk in tree nurseries and young plantations until 3–4 years of age.


Harvesting is usually done on short rotations of 8–15 years for densely planted plantations destined for production of posts, pulp or fuelwood, but rotations may be as short as 5–7 years in Ethiopia. Rotations of up to and beyond 30 years are given to Chilean trees destined for processing as sawn timber. Harvesting of Eucalyptus globulus on short rotations is accomplished by cutting the entire tree at 10–12 cm above the ground with a chainsaw or manual saw, making the cut on a slope to allow water to run off of the stump. Up to three coppice harvests are usually taken, with the stand quality deteriorating after the third coppice harvest. Another harvesting option is the progressive thinning of the plantation to yield harvests of increasing size at various intervals. For example in Uruguay a 16-year rotation is practised, with cuttings at 6 and 10 years that eliminate 70% of the planted trees and leave space for a harvest of large trees at 16 years.


In rotations of 8–15 years, annual volume increments are 10–35 m³/ha. In Kenya, at an altitude of about 2500 m, a yield of 175 m³/ha in a 9-year rotation has been recorded.

Handling after harvest

After felling the trees, it is usually unnecessary to prune the logs, as there is little production of branches, especially in dense plantations. Bark removal is usually not necessary either, as the bark is usable for the pulp process. In large plantations, trees are felled and cut into sections, then dragged to a road by manpower, animals or tractors, later to be loaded on trucks. Leaving entire or sectioned trunks on the ground to dry can reduce their weight for easier transport, but this opens up the possibility of fungal and termite attacks.

Genetic resources

The Eucalyptus globulus gene pool is diverse, both in its native range and in terms of landraces that have evolved locally in countries where it is now planted. Genetic erosion is not a serious threat, because Eucalyptus globulus reproduces from seed in plantations, and seeds are produced by open pollination. In 1987 and 1988 the Australian Tree Seed Center undertook the largest ever collection of native stand seed for Eucalyptus globulus. Genetic linkage maps have been constructed of Eucalyptus globulus, using AFLP and microsatellite (SSR) markers. The chloroplast genome has been sequenced.


Major breeding programs exist in Australia, Spain, Uruguay, Chile, Ethiopia, Argentina, Portugal and India. These select from both local landraces and Australian sources for fast growth, high wood density and pulp yield.


Eucalyptus globulus has very good prospects for the future. Worldwide demand for industrial forest products has been rising and will continue to rise, and plantations provide an increasing proportion of these products. Eucalyptus globulus is an important provider of these products (likely the largest single hardwood species planted in the temperate zones), and is sure to continue to increase in planting area in its major producer countries. Continued intensification of Eucalyptus globulus plantations in these countries will also contribute to increased production. China could also see some of its large area of softwood plantations turned over to Eucalyptus spp., among them Eucalyptus globulus.

In tropical Africa population increase results in rising demands for construction wood, poles, posts and fuelwood. In the mountainous countries where Eucalyptus globulus is already widespread (Ethiopia, Rwanda), as well as in those where it is not yet much utilized, it will increase in importance because of its production potential. Eventually changes in the national African markets as well as strong demand from world markets could favour a transition in African countries to more intensive industrial planting of Eucalyptus globulus. Its flammability and potential threat to local ecosystems are reasons for concern.

Another point regarding the future prospects of Eucalyptus globulus is the use of its essential oil. This oil has been credited with countless medicinal uses, but many of the pharmacological properties have yet to be rigorously tested. Increasing interest in natural remedies could result in increasing importance of the essential oil, both in international and in local African markets.

Major references

  • Bolza, E. & Keating, W.G., 1972. African timbers: the properties, uses and characteristics of 700 species. Division of Building Research, CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia. 710 pp.
  • Chippendale, G.M., 1988. Myrtaceae - Eucalyptus, Angophora. In: George, A.S. (Editor). Flora of Australia, Volume 19. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, Australia. 540 pp.
  • Coppen, J.J.W., 2002. Eucalyptus: the genus Eucalyptus. Medicinal and aromatic plants - industrial profiles, vol. 22. Taylor & Francis, London, United Kingdom. 450 pp.
  • Eldridge, K., Davidson, J., Harwood, C. & van Wijk, G., 1993. Eucalypt domestication and breeding. Clarendon Press, Oxford, United Kingdom. xix + 288 pp.
  • Jacobs, M.R., 1981. Eucalypts for planting. 2nd Edition. FAO Forestry Series No 11. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. 677 pp.
  • Kirkpatrick, J.B., 1974. The numerical intraspecific taxonomy of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. (Myrtaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 69(2): 89–104.
  • Pohjonen, V. & Pukkala, T., 1990. Eucalyptus globulus in Ethiopian forestry. Forest Ecology and Management 36(1): 19–31.
  • Ross, I.A., 2001. Medicinal plants of the world: Chemical constituents, traditional and modern medicinal uses. Volume 2. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, United States. 487 pp.
  • Skolmen, R.G. & Ledig, F.T., 1990. Eucalyptus globulus Labill. In: Burns, R.M. & Honkala, B.H. (Technical coordinators). Silvics of North America. Volume 2. Agriculture Handbook No 54. USDA, Forest Service, Washington, D.C., United States. pp. 299–304.

Other references

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  • G. Vaughan, 3620 N. Wilton, Chicago, IL 60613, United States

Correct citation of this article

Vaughan, G., 2008. Eucalyptus globulus Labill. In: Louppe, D., Oteng-Amoako, A.A. & Brink, M. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. Accessed 12 November 2020.