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Eucalyptus grandis Hill ex Maiden

Myrtaceae
Flooded gum

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 unpublished.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

Uses

This is a rather widely planted ornamental shade tree, also useful as a honey plant. The pale red timber is softer and lighter than that of many eucalypts. Easily worked, the wood is extensively used for medium-quality joinery in offices and hotels. They are good for crafts, and older trees, for telephone poles. It is occasionally used for veneer.

Folk Medicine

No data available.

Chemistry

The bark and kino contain tannins (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962).

Description

Evergreen tree 40–60 m high with a tall straight trunk and 1–2 m in diameter. Crown spreading and thin in open; small and compressed in dense plantations. Bark white, gray or green, smooth, shedding in long narrow strips. Leaves alternate, lanceolate, 10–20 cm long, 2–4 cm wide, acuminate, inaequilateral, wavy, glabrous. Umbels single at leaf base, 2.5–3 cm long with flattened stalk of 12 mm. Flowers 5–12, short-stalked or stalkless. Buds pyriform, 10 mm long, 5 mm wide. Stamens many, threadlike, white, anthers oblong with large round gland. Pistil with inferior 4–6-celled ovary. Capsules several, short-stalked, pyriform or conical, 8 mm long, 6 mm wide (Little, 1983).

Germplasm

Reported from the Australian Center of Diversity, flooded gum, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate frost, heat, and poor soil. Adapted to a rather wide range of soil types, the species is relatively free of disease but somewhat frost tender. The tree grown in Africa and Brazil, possibly a hybrid with E. saligna, is superior to wild types in yield and bole straightness (NAS, 1980a).

Distribution

Ranging spottily from 17°S to 30°S in Australia, the plant is widely planted. It is so important in Brazil that it is said to be planted at the rate of 100,000 ha/yr. Mariani et al. (1981) mention its cultivation in Angola, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cuba, Ghana, Indonesia, Papua, Peru, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe.

Ecology

Seedlings of E. grandis are more resistant to waterlogging than those of E. robusta, which are more resistant than those of E. saligna. Estimated to range from Tropical Thorn to Moist through Warm Temperate Thorn to Moist Forest Life Zones, flooded gum is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of (6.0-)7.0 to 17.3(-25) dm (mean of 3 cases = 11.8), annual temperature of 18.8 to 27.5°C (mean of 3 cases = 23.2), and pH of 5.0 to 7.5 (mean of 2 cases = 6.2). Grows where summer temperatures reach 40°C, winter minima -1 to -3°C. While tolerating gradual temperature falls to frost, sudden freezing is very damaging. Does best where the rain is mostly in summer/fall with a spring dry period. Does well in moist, well-drained soils from shales, slates, sandstones, even granites and basalts. Seems to tolerate poor soils with low P content.

Cultivation

Since weeds severely limit growth, mechanical or chemical site preparation is essential if rapid rates of growth are to be achieved and maintained." (NAS, 1980a). The plant is sensitive to boron deficiency. Fertilizer applied at the time of planting can have a spectacular effect. Seedlings 2–5 months old are outplanted, best at the beginning of the wet season, spaced at 2 x 2 m to 5 x 5 m (NAS, 1980a).

Harvesting

Usual rotations in Kenya are 6 years for domestic fuelwood, 10–12 years for industrial fuelwood, 7–8 years for telephone poles. Forests are commonly regenerated by coppice from stumps, sprouting within 3 months, then thinned to 2–3 shoots per stump.

Yields and Economics

In Kenya, the initial crop averages ca 30 m3/ha/yr over the first 6 years, the coppice crop closer to 46 m3/ha/yr over the same period. Irrigated stands in Zimbabwe yield; 40 m3, good stands in Uganda 17–45, and up to 35 m3/ha in S. Africa. At Dehra Dun the MAI was 22 m3/ha (Fenton et al., 1977). Webb et al. (1980) report yields of 24–70 m3/ha/yr.

Energy

According to the phytomass files (Duke, 1981b), annual productivity ranges to 22 MT/ha in California. Introduced into E. Africa as railroad fuel early this century, flooded gum provides a lightweight (sp. grav. 0.40–0.55) fuelwood. In New South Wales, total biomass increases with age to 394 MT at 27 yrs. old, with foliage biomass increasing gradually to 6.2 MT. Though variable, understory biomass increased through recruitment to 42 MT at 27–yrs-old, the stick and bark component having reached a steady state 7 MT at age 15, the leaf component rather steady around 2, the humus content stabilizing at 17–18 (Bradstock, 1981). The Sri Lanka apellation turpentine-gas certainly suggests energy implications. Although this species produces more wood than Acacia mearnsii, it is inferior to that species for fuel and charcoal (Duke, 1981a). Eucalyptus scored lower than Melaleuca on yield (ca 6 MT/ha/yr cf 28 MT/ha/yr) and nothing had as high a heating value as the bark of Melaleuca (>25,000 kj/kg). The bark of Eucalyptus grandis has a relatively low heat value (14,683 kj/kg), perhaps due to a plethora of inorganic noncombustibles in the bark. The average ash content is 10.1%. The stem wood had a heat value of 19,213 kj/kg.

Biotic Factors

In Brazil, the fungus Diaportha cubensis attacks the flooded gum. Termites may be a problem in savanna plantations. Root rot is a serious problem (Fungi) in Zambia. Browne (1968) lists the following as affecting this species: Cylindrocladium scoparium, Daldinia concentrica. (Coleoptera) Anomala cupripes, Automolus depressus, Phoracantha recurva, P. semipunctata, Triphocaris acanthocera, T. mastersi. (Hemiptera) Cardiaspina fiscella, C. maniformis. (Isoptera) Macrotermes natalensis. (Lepidoptera) Neocleora herbuloti, Nola lugens, Xyleutes boisduvali. (Mammalia) Trichosurus vulpecula.

Chemical Analysis of Biomass Fuels

Analysing 62 kinds of biomass for heating value, Jenkins and Ebeling (1985) reported a spread of 19.35 to 18.15 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 82.55% volatiles, 0.52% ash, 16.93% fixed carbon, 48.33% C, 5.89% H, 45.13% O, 0,15% N, 0.01% S, 0.08% Cl, and undetermined residue.

References

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