eucalyptus materials

Sourcing Eucalyptus Materials for your Zoo’s Fences, Shelters, and Enclosures

Posted on: March 29th, 2016

Eucalyptus Materials:  A viable construction material that keeps animals and visitors safe and comfortable

If you are a zoo and need eucalyptus materials to keep your animals and visitors safe, shady, and dry; we have good news. You can now procure our versatile Eucalyptus Poles by the container load and save big time. There are more details on this capability and a sample project profile at the bottom of this post. So be sure to read the entire article.

But first, why should you use Eucalyptus in your zoo’s construction projects?

Which Zoo construction projects can use Eucalyptus Materials?

Eucalyptus poles can are used for a variety of applications in zoo construction projects. Larger poles are ideal for construction support structures. Poles with a smaller diameter are perfect for fences, decorative trim, trellises and much more.

Imagine these structures made from beautiful, stable and sustainable eucalyptus:

  • A gazebo with interior seating, a perfect stopping point for visitors who are ready for snack time
  • A garden trellis, full of flowering vines, a classic landscape element for admiring from a distance or walking beneath
  • A BBQ pavilion, offering shade visitors ready to enjoy an outdoor meal
  • Fencing for queues, crowd control, animal habitats, and more
  • Enclosures for animals of all shapes and sizes
  • Animal shelters and shade structures

Need a shade structure for your giraffes to hang out underneath? Eucalyptus poles work great as a support for our thatch umbrellas, and they make for great trellises too. You can also use them for decorative purposes, eucalyptus can be used rustic fencing, or anything else.

The animal housing provides a unique habitat for animals living in a zoo environment for many reasons. Whether they are being rehabilitated for release in the wild, studied for scientific purposes, or bred to ensure the ongoing success of their species, animals have very specific housing needs.

Successfully building these projects can be difficult, and using appropriate materials is essential to achieving success.

Eucalyptus poles are naturally straight, so you don’t have that manufactured look of other common building woods, such as pine. With the option to be fire retarded, they are a must-have for any zoo looking to incorporate an exotic and rustic theme into their environment.

Why should you use Eucalyptus wood for animal habitats?

Is it possible to provide a visually pleasing experience for guests while ensuring that the environment is safe and comfortable for the animals? Absolutely!

Many animals living in zoos are large and powerful. Eucalyptus wood has unsurpassed strength, which ensures minimal damage to exhibits from their tenants. Animals don’t play by the same rules that people do. Some don’t aim to avoid bumping up against their shelter, so the housing must be stable.

With its natural shades of gray and brown, it provides an aesthetically pleasing touch to any project.  It keeps guests interested because of its authenticity. Visitors expect a natural environment, and eucalyptus lends itself to this.

Eucy Fencing - Dak Lodge (Small) (2)

Why are Eucalyptus materials ideal for building?

Eucalyptus is desirable because, unlike other timbers, eucalyptus timber has a minimal taper over long lengths. This quality makes it more consistent and efficient. There are more usable eucalyptus wood and less waste. And generally speaking (each species is slightly different) it is harder than most North American species.

Another benefit is that amaZulu has worked, with the EPA, to produce the first non-arsenic, non-erosive pressure treatment for eucalyptus wood.  This treatment is safe for children’s playground and animal exhibits, unlike the CCA (Copper Chrom Arsenic treated poles). Pressure-treated poles have at least a 20-year ground burial rate.

Robust and versatile

Eucalyptus materials are comparable to white oak and hickory in strength and can withstand denting and tension. Compared to white oak, it is much more resistant to brown rot fungus. It is less expensive than other traditional materials like mahogany, hickory, and cherry woods.

It also has good machining and turning properties. It sands to a smooth semi-polished surface and absorbs stains evenly. As such, eucalyptus is ideal for wide and narrow flooring, custom millwork, staircases. It is also perfect for solid and veneer cabinetry, wall panels, and other applications.

Why is it important to use sustainable wood in building construction?

If you are aiming for LEED certification, materials make a huge difference. If you are concerned about the deforestation of slow-growing trees, you should have other options. 36 million acres of natural forests disappear each year, a rate that cannot continue. Eucalyptus wood plantations around the world, particularly in tropical climates, produce mature trees in just 15 years. This timeframe is incredibly short compared to most traditional timber.

Because it is sustainable, eucalyptus is now being used as an alternative to mahogany and Brazilian cherry. Both of these species are endangered, slow-growing and comparatively expensive.

When you scrutinize the qualities that various woods have, be aware of the benefits of using Eucalyptus. It is not just as a compelling alternative but a top choice for your construction projects.

Learn more about our Eucalyptus Poles in this video. And view these galleries of our Zoo projects. Or check out some of our other work on Pinterest. Get your imagination stirring!


Eucalyptus poles in action

Now, for that promised project profile. Recently we work with the Miami Zoo on a unique fencing project.

The zoo needed a themed product to replace their existing and unappealing chain link fences. We provided customized Tribal Eucalyptus Fencing in sizes that would allow for an unobstructed view of the exhibits.

Image of Eucalyptus fence from amaZulu, Inc. at Miami Zoo

The challenge

The challenge was that there was a considerable amount of fencing to replace, but budgeting was limited. The zoo also wanted a themed environment to help improve the visitor experience.

After meeting with the team at the Miami Zoo, we were able to narrow down options to be able to provide just the right product. The exhibits were originally designed to provide an unobstructed view of the animals with a small chain link fence serving as a barrier between guests and wildlife. These fences had a dated look and didn’t provide a themed environment.

Safety and aesthetics at a reasonable price were the primary needs.

The solution

Our first step was to understand the existing issues. After communicating with the Miami Zoo’s team and getting some images of the current fencing we had some sample product fabricated. We then arranged a meeting with the zoo to review the pros and cons of each product to make sure we offered the best solution. The ideal solution was our Tribal Eucalyptus Fencing.

The results

Miami Zoo is currently working to replace all their fencing with our custom Tribal Eucalyptus Fencing. The feedback after the first phase was very positive and the overall results are beautiful. The exhibits look fantastic; the fencing provides safety along with aesthetics, and the special pricing results in long-term value to the zoo.

What the client said

“In the past, we had used individual eucalyptus and bamboo pickets to build our fences. Unfortunately, the bamboo wouldn’t last long at our facility and using the individual eucalyptus pickets would take us several days to build a fence. The panels purchased through Amazulu had a much nicer look to them than the individual pickets. It also allowed us to hide the steel framework of the fence so that only the eucalyptus is visible. In addition, it only took us about 90 minutes to install the panels compared to close to 16 hours with the individual pickets. We chose Amazulu specifically because you guys were one of the only vendors that had the product available and provided the zoo with the lowest price.”

Want to see another profile? Check out our work at Lowry Park Zoo.

Benefits of Eucalyptus Materials

  • It is classified a hardwood providing structural supports for buildings.
  • It is available in a variety of sizes from 1”- 8” in circumference and 8’ to 18’ in length.
  • It can be pre-fire retarded and impregnated at the time of pressure treatment to make a safer product. The treatment will not wash off.
  • It is sustainable, versatile, beautiful, and perfect for your next project.

So what is the best way to source Eucalyptus Materials for your Zoo?

If you’re interested in using eucalyptus wood at your Zoo, we would love to help you. Do you have a large scale project coming up? See how our container load pricing can result in elephant-sized savings!

Contact us today for more information or give us a call, toll-free at 877-243-5309.

Related content and products:

Eucalyptus Myths Debunked
A Growing Interest In Eucalyptus Wood
Eucalyptus: A Sustainable, Versatile, and Beautiful Plant
How Eucalyptus Sizes Up To Traditional Wood
Building with Eucalyptus Wood







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