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02/05/2014 - 3:46pm
Eucalyptus: A Sustainable, Versatile, and Beautiful Plant
Here at amaZulu, we love our eucalyptus! Not only is it a beautiful and sustainable alternative to your typical hardwood, it is an extremely versatile plant that is used in many industries throughout the world. We love to use eucalyptus wood to help our customers turn their homes into unique and head-turning masterpieces, but what else can it be used for? Keep reading to find out!
Eucalyptus gets its name from the greek word “eukalyptos” meaning “well-enclosed.” This refers to the plant’s flower bud that is literally enclosed inside of a capsule that opens when they bloom. Eucalyptus is native to Australia and has over 700 species, some of which can live up to 1,000 years! It’s an extremely fast growing source of wood, achieving from 6-12 feet of new growth each year. You are probably most familiar with eucalyptus oil which has been historically used to treat infections or as a natural insecticide. Eucalyptus oil can also be used in perfumes and deodorizers, as well as some foods (in small amounts). It’s also a popular food choice for Koalas!
Eucalyptus plants are notoriously thirsty. Many people plant them in or near swamps in order to drain water and detract pesky mosquitoes that could be carrying the malaria virus. This also means good news for your floors and cabinets! Eucalyptus wood is extremely absorbent; it has the ability to soak up water-based and oil-based stains quickly and evenly!
Fun Facts and Uses
Native Australian aborigines actually use eucalyptus oil to treat infections — they even believe that it can prevent cancer! In ancient China, the oil was considered a remedy to treat tuberculosis and asthma. Today, eucalyptus wood is used to build many ship masts, railways sleepers, and ship keels due to its durability and strength.
Guess what! Did you know that native Australians have been using hollowed out eucalyptus wood to create the didgeridoo for over 1,500 years? The wood is hollowed out by termites and then fashioned into a beautiful instrument.
A notable specie of eucalyptus is commonly referred to as “rainbow eucalyptus.” You can see why just by looking at it! The plant sheds its bark multiple times per year, showing off the many layers of bark underneath the surface. It starts out green, then fades to various shades of red, blue and even purple as time goes on! Unique and beautiful!
Uses in Architecture and Design
We’re all familiar with the healing and wonderful smelling characteristics of eucalyptus oil, but the wood from the plant can also be used to create beautiful flooring, cabinetry, and many other types of design projects. Eucalyptus is an extremely sustainable material; some plantations can produce up to 30 times a greater volume per year than your average carpentry wood bearing trees. The wood is also very versatile. It can be sanded to a smooth, polished surface and reacts well to various stains. Eucalyptus plants naturally grow straight, so it’s the perfect wood for flooring, wall paneling, and creating trellises. Its color resembles mahogany, but causes much less splintering and chipping.
At amaZulu inc, we worked with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to produce the first non-arsenic, non-erosive pressure treatment for eucalyptus wood to extend the life and durability of our products for a building material that stands up to the elements. Our eucalyptus poles are not only strong and durable, but long lasting and tolerant to the changing Florida climate. If you’re interested in using eucalyptus wood in your next home improvement project, we would love to help you! Give us a call at (877) 243-5309 today! We’re here to help make your dreams a reality. In the meantime, check out some of our work with eucalyptus poles to get your imagination stirring!
Eucalyptus Flower by Brian Giesen
Rainbow Eucalyptus by Toasty Ken