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Eucalyptus camaldulensis Schlecht.

Redgum eucalyptus

Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.

  1. Uses
  2. Folk Medicine
  3. Chemistry
  4. Description
  5. Germplasm
  6. Distribution
  7. Ecology
  8. Cultivation
  9. Harvesting
  10. Yields and Economics
  11. Energy
  12. Biotic Factors
  13. Chemical Analysis of Biomass Fuels
  14. References


Important timber, firewood, shelter belt, and honey tree. In the Sudan, it is planted to protect crops from blowing sands. The wood, durable, easy to saw, yet resistant to termites, is widely used in Australia for strong durable construction, interior finish, flooring, cabinetry, furniture, fenceposts, cross-ties, sometimes pulpwood. Australian aborigines made canoes from the bark. Survivalists in Australia and elsewhere might learn how the aborigines obtained water from the superficial roots, usually those ca 3 cm in diameter. The roots were excavated or lifted to the soil surface. Then the root was cut into segments ca 45 cm long, debarked, held vertically, and blown into, the water then draining into the receptacle provided.

Folk Medicine

Reported to be anesthetic, antiseptic, astringent, the redgum eucalyptus is a folk remedy for colds, colic, coughs, diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhage, laryngalgia, laryngitis, pharyngitis, sore throat, spasm, trachalgia, and wounds (Duke and Wain, 1981).


Leaves contain 0.1–0.4% essential oil, 77% of which is cineol There is some cuminal, phellandrene, aromadendren (or aromadendral), and some valerylaldehyde, geraniol, cymene, and phellandral (C.S.I.R., 1948–1976). Leaves contain 5–11% tannin. The kino contains 45% kinotannic acid as well as kino red, a glucoside, catechol, and pyrocatechol. Leaves and fruits test positive for flavonoids and sterols. The bark contains 2.5–16% tannin, the wood 2–14%, and the kino 46.2–76.7% (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962).


Large evergreen tree 24–40(-50) m high with stout trunk often short and crooked, to 2 m in diameter; crown open, widely spreading, irregular. Bark smoothish, white, gray, or buff. Twigs reddish, long, slender, angled, drooping. Trunk can form air roots. Root system deep and spreading. Leaves alternate, drooping, narrowly lanceolate, 8–22 cm long, 1–2 cm wide, often curved or sickle-shaped, tapering to long point, short-pointed at base, entire glabrous, dull pale green on both surfaces or occasionally grayish. Umbels single at leaf base, ca 2.5 cm long on slender stalk 6–19 mm long. Flowers 5–10, each on slender stalk 5–12 mm long from ovoid buds 6–10 mm long, 4–5 mm wide. Stamens many, threadlike, white, 5–6 mm long; anthers with small round gland. Pistil with inferior, long-pointed, 3–4-celled ovary and long, stout style. Capsules several, clustered, hemiglobose or ovoid, 7–8 mm long, 5–6 mm wide, light brown, with wide raised disk and 3–4 prominent triangular teeth almost 2 mm long. Seeds many, tiny, 1.5 mm long, light brown (Little, 1983).


Reported from the Australian Center of Diversity, redgum eucalyptus, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate alkali, drought, fire, light frost, heat, high pH, poor soil, salt, savanna, and waterlogging. It is rather intolerant of weeds. The NAS catalogs four outstanding provenances, 'Katherine' and 'Petford' for tropical climates, 'Lake Albacutya' for Mediterranean climates, and 'Broken Hill' for arid climates. Some Provenances can tolerate -5°C and up to 20 frosts per year. (2n = 22)


This is said to be the most widely distributed eucalypt, ranging over 23° lat. in most of arid and semiarid Australia but not the humid eastern and southwestern coasts. It is regarded as one of the most widely planted eucalypts in the world (ca 500,000 ha planted) (NAS, 1980a). Plantations occur in Argentina, Arizona, California, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Upper Volta, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe.


Ranges from tropical through subtropical and warm temperate, and from arid to semiarid. Tolerates temperatures from 3° to 5°C in winter with 0–50 frosts according to locality. Annual rainfall from minimum of about 250–625 mm to as high as 1000–1250 mm (Little, 1983). In Duke's ecogeographic data base, redgum eucalyptus is estimated to range from Tropical Thorn Forest to Dry through Warm Temperate Desert to Dry Forest Life Zones, and is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 10.3 to 20.6 dm (mean of 9 cases = 15.9) and annual temperature of 18.0 to 26.6°C (mean of 9 cases = 24.7). It is reported in areas with only 2 dm rainfall, but the lower limit for commercial plantations is 4 dm. Some provenances tolerate many different soil conditions, high calcium, high salt, periodic waterlogging. Occasionally pure stands may develop naturally along flood plains and stream banks. The mean maximum temperature of the warmest month where it grows well is ca 29°C. The dry season lasts 4–8 mos or more and may be severe. Frosts are rare (5–20 days/yr) (Mariani et al., 1981).


Seeds, long lived when sealed in dry cold storage, are usually started in nursery containers, then transplanted to the field (as close as 2 x 2 m for firewood). Extensive weeding may be mandatory. During the seedling stage, this species develops gall-like structures, at least in the Philippines, which offer resistance to drought and fire (Agpaoa, 1980).


Some provenances coppice well for six or more rotations, on good sites, plantations are managed on coppice rotations of 7–10 years.

Yields and Economics

According to NAS (1980a), annual wood yields or 20–25 m3/ha in Argentina, 30 m3 from Israel, 17–20 from Turkey in the first rotation, and 25–30 in subsequent coppice rotations. On poor arid sites, yields are only 2–11 m3 (ca 1–5 cords) on 14 or 15 year rotations. Litterfall ran about 3.6–5.8 MT/ha/yr in an Australian redgum swamp (Briggs and Maher, 1983).


According to the phytomass files (Duke, 1981b), standing biomass in an Israeli plantation is ca 110 MT/ha. At Calistoga, California, this was calculated to yield 4.3 m3/ha/yr or 2 cords and total energy yields of 15,000,000 kcal/ha/yr (Standiford and Donaldson, 1982). "As firewood, the timber from Eucalyptus camaldulensis has few equals. It is also a good charcoal wood, and the steel industry in Argentina, for example, relies on its charcoal for steel-making. The fuel value of the wood (sp. grav. 0.6) is 4,800 kcal/kg. In World War II, Australians used the charcoal for their producer gas plants." (C.S.I.R., 1948–1976).

Biotic Factors

According to Browne (1968), the following affect Eucalyptus camaldulensis: (Bacteria) Agrobacterium tumefaciens. (Fungi) Cercospora eucalypti, Corticium salmonicolor, Fomes setulosus, Gymnopilus junonius, Hypholoma fasiculare, Inonotus chondromyelus, Polyporus portentosus, Sclerotinia fuckeliana. (Angio-spermae) Tapinanthus sp. (Coleoptera) Alcidodes biangulatus, A. haemopterus, Anaemerus tomentosus, Apate monachus, Chrysolagria neavei, Dicasticus affinis, Gonipterus scutellatus, Opseotrophus sufflatus, Phoracantha recurve, P. semipunctata, Siderodactylus sagittarius, Sinoxylon transvaalense, Systates pollinosus, Xyleborus truncatus. (Hemiptera) Agonoscelis pubescens, Atelocera stictica. (Hymenoptera) Perga affinis, Phylacteophaga eucalypti. (Isoptera) Ancistrotermes amphidon, Odontotermes feae. (Lepidoptera) Archips occidentalis, Cleora dargei, Desmeocraera cyprianrii, Eumeta cervina, Kotochalia junodi, Nadasia amblycalymma, Nola lugens, ophiusa tirhaca, Orgyia basalis, Parasa ananii, Strepsicrates rhothia. (Orthoptera) Staurocleis magnifica. (Mammalia) Lepus whytei. Young and/or drought-weakened shrubs can be badly infested by the eucalyptus snout beetle, eucalypt borer, moth larvae, and termites. Even the young trees are not favored by livestock and wildlife. The tree is said to kill other tree species (NAS, 1980a). This is one of the few species whose leaves are eaten by sheep (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962). The litter may provide an important food source for detritivorous invertebrates and hence for waterfowl in redgum swamps (Briggs and Maher, 1983).

Chemical Analysis of Biomass Fuels

Analysing 62 kinds of biomass for heating value, Jenkins and Ebeling (1985) reported a spread of 19.42 to 18.23 MJ/kg, compared to 13.76 for weathered rice straw to 23.28 MJ/kg for prune pits. On a % DM basis, the wh.plant contained 81.42% volatiles, 0.76% ash, 17.82% fixed carbon, 49.00% C, 5.87% H, 43.97% O, 0.30% N, 0.01% S, 0.13% Cl, and undetermined residue.


Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
Last update Tuesday, January 6, 1998 by aw