Trees

Eucalyptus nitens

The Eucalyptus nitens is an evergreen of the Myrtle family. Very straight trunk with shiny white bark superimposed with strips of pewter bark. It reaches a height that exceeds 40 meters and can reach specimens of more than 80 and a diameter between 1 and 2 meters, with white flowers and a rapid growth rate. Excellent for the production of firewood.

Its name derives from the terms of Greek origin “Eu” which means good and “Calyptos” which expresses covered; while the word “Nitens” comes from the Latin term brilliance and refers to the different parts of the tree that almost entirely show a shiny appearance.

Origin

In the regions of origin it presents a variable geographical distribution, it can be seen in the heights of the north of New South Wales to the mountains of the southeast of Victoria. The climatic conditions are characterized by their intense cold, with mild summers and a winter with frequent snowfalls.

Characteristics of the Eucalyptus nitens

It is a tree that grows very quickly, so it can reach a great height in a short time. They quickly develop a large canopy formed of branches and leaves that resembles a wind sail. Its trunk tends to develop in a straight way, however, younger plants need some protection to prevent them from being knocked down by strong air currents. It is a tree very tolerant to climatic variations due to its characteristics, it is cultivated in parks and agricultural spaces.

The Eucalyptus nitens does not present swelling on its stem, it reproduces by sending epicormic shoots around it. This characteristic diminishes over the years, to such an extent that a stump that is older than 10 years is unable to launch many new shoots to restart the growth process.

At first, its leaves turn bluish-green, they thrive in an elongated and lanceolate shape, reaching up to 10 cm long by 6 cm wide and during adulthood their foliage turns into a bright green with much more elongated, narrower leaves and with the classic smell of eucalyptus. Its fruits are sessile and serve for human consumption.

Applications

Planted in an appropriate environment, its rapid development means that its woody production is used quickly. Its wood is of excellent quality. Likewise, the cuts on its trunk are used as a protective girdle.

It is an interesting source of nectar and pollen for beekeeping. Its pulp is also used in the production of paper and its derivatives. Its magnificent wood is used in the construction of buildings of all kinds and carpentry in general. It is grown to obtain natural biomass to generate energy. Its subtle oils are characterized by having significant amounts of alphapinene and 1,8-cineole, which is a fundamental component for preparing pharmaceutical oils. Currently, the development and implementation of the technology allows producers to increase its use.

Cultivation and care

It is an appropriate tree for parks and spacious agricultural lands, so it is important to grow it in places large enough for its best development. It is a tree that tolerates climatic variations very well, although younger trees would not tolerate temperatures below -12 ° C; while adults withstand up to – 14 C.

The best development occurs in well-drained and deep, humid and muddy soils, rich in nutrients. However, they do very well in a vast range of soils. In general, these maintain a kind of symbiosis with the fungi that occur in their roots because they serve to bring water and nutrients to them. They are ostentatiously displayed in the valleys and mountains that sometimes offer a kind of mosaic of different species of eucalyptus.  In its natural environment, climatic conditions range from cold to hot and from humid to semi-dry. It is one of the most frost-resistant eucalyptus trees and one of the most popular commercial species.

Parasites and diseases

Naturally, in many of these species the foliage of Eucalyptus nitens is sensitive to different species of parasites, such as the Atta ants in Brazil. Another danger to the species are the marsupials that inhabit Australia and New Zealand.

 

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