Nature has blessed man with such miracles he could have ever imagined. One such wonder is Rainbow Eucalyptus. It’s better known by its scientific name of Eucalyptus deglupta. It is a tree domestic to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. It is the only Eucalyptus species that is commonly found in rainforests. It is marked by a multi-colored bark. It is a fast-growing tree that typically reaches a height of 60-75 m from the trunk.
The tree was first founded in 1850 by Carl Ludwig Blume. This species has been widely planted in many other countries.
The favorable conditions for its growth are:
- Temperature range of 68-72 F. They can withstand frost only to a certain level.
- An altitude of 1800 m above sea level.
Why is Rainbow Eucalyptus colored?
The colored streaks come from patches of the outer bark of the tree. Here’s how Professor David Lee explains the coloration. He says the trunk produces a succession of thin, smooth barks. Each layer of bark is covered by a thin, transparent layer of cells that allows us to see the chlorophyll of the cells inside. As the surface of the trunk ages, transparent cells on the top layer becomes filled with a brown pigment called tannins. At first, the inner bark is bright green. Then, after some time, the inner bark matures and gives out different pigmentations like blue, purple, orange, and some maroon tones. However, for those plant enthusiasts who want to grow this tree elsewhere, must know that the intensity of the color would be much less as compared to the original one. There are more than 700 species of eucalyptus. Only 15 out of these 700 exist outside Australia.
A wonderful thing to remark is that the wood of the tree is the same as that of other species of Eucalyptus. Often, when we talk about Eucalyptus, a picture of Koala feeding on Eucalyptus leaves comes to our mind. There’s an interesting fact about that too. The main element of a koala’s diet is eucalyptus leaves. It is believed that koalas sleep very much due to the effect of the leaves’ oil in their diet. The real scientific reason is that the digestion of these leaves requires a lot of energy. So that is why koalas sleep most of the day.
Characteristics of the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree:
- The flowers of this tree are quite unusual. This is because they have no petals or sepals, although they do possess stamens and pistil.
- Generally, eucalyptus leaves are leathery, long and narrow. The leaves of rainbow eucalyptus, however, are wider and have rounded leaves. Some species also produce an abundant amount of subtle and aromatic oil.
The oil of Eucalyptus has many advantages for humans. For instance, it helps to open up the nasal airways for people who find it difficult to breathe. Apart from this, it is also used as an insecticide and as an aromatic.
The tree yields woody fruits known as gum nuts. They come in a diversity of shapes and sizes. the fruits are capsule-like and are non-edible.
The rainbow eucalyptus is unique in the way that unlike other species of eucalyptus, they shed their bark more often.
Drawbacks for growing this Rainbow Eucalyptus tree:
Every coin has two sides. Just like that, growing this species of eucalyptus comes with some potential drawbacks too.
- They can be very troublesome as their barks keep on stripping down.
- One can not predict the exact shade the tree will take up when it matures.
- It can not be planted anywhere, i.e., its very location specific.
Some common problems regarding the plantation of rainbow eucalyptus:
1. Bark and leaves are red.
Solution: The tree might be under some kind of stress. If only a few leaves are red, it is not a problem. However, if the quantity seems odd, consider a visit to an arborist.
2. The white powder gets accumulated on eucalyptus leaves.
Solution: This is due to a fungus commonly called mildew. This fungus does not require water for germination. It can stop the growth of your tree and make it even weaker. The way to prevent this is by maintaining high temperatures, pruning out infected regions and using a nitrogenous fertilizer.
Some common uses of Rainbow Eucalyptus:
1. It is widely used in the pulpwood industry for preparing wood pulp. From its wood, products like paper, furniture, and veneer are processed.
2. It is also used as an ornamental plant due to its aesthetic quality. It’s used to decorate home grounds, parks, fields, gardens, etc.
3. Due to its aromatic smell, it is also used in the perfume industry.
4. Its oil is used for medicinal purposes. Studies have shown that it can fight bacteria and relieve pain.
Why you should grow a rainbow eucalyptus?
After reading all the above explanations, you must have familiarised yourself with the tree. You now know all the plus and minus points of the tree. Now the question arises: “Why should I plant such a sensitive tree?”
The answer is pretty simple if you want your garden to stand apart, planting this tree is the best way to do so. Not only will it make your garden look even more gorgeous, but its aroma will also freshen up your atmosphere. There is no other way to make your neighbors even more jealous about your garden than by planting this tree.
Rainbow Eucalyptus is a nice, beautiful tree and can yield very good height too. If taken care of properly, it can become the pride of one’s garden. However, its shortcomings are, that it is very sensitive to weather and soil conditions. Also, it can grow very quickly and thus needs a large space for its growth. It is also prone to fungi and some other bacteria. But otherwise, it’s a tree that you must have in your garden.