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Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
Yields and Economics
Chemical Analysis of Biomass Fuels
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.
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 0.10.4% 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., 19481976). Leaves contain 511% 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 2.516% tannin, the wood 214%, and the kino 46.276.7% (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962).
Large evergreen tree 2440(-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, 822 cm long, 12 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 619 mm long. Flowers 510, each on slender stalk 512 mm long from ovoid buds 610 mm long, 45 mm wide. Stamens many, threadlike, white, 56 mm long; anthers with small round gland. Pistil with inferior, long-pointed, 34-celled ovary and long, stout style. Capsules several, clustered, hemiglobose or ovoid, 78 mm long, 56 mm wide, light brown, with wide raised disk and 34 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. (2
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 050 frosts according to locality. Annual rainfall from minimum of about 250625 mm to as high as 10001250 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 48 mos or more and may be severe. Frosts are rare (520 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 710 years.
According to NAS (1980a), annual wood yields or 2025 m
/ha in Argentina, 30 m
from Israel, 1720 from Turkey in the first rotation, and 2530 in subsequent coppice rotations. On poor arid sites, yields are only 211 m
(ca 15 cords) on 14 or 15 year rotations. Litterfall ran about 3.65.8 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 m
/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
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., 19481976).
According to Browne (1968), the following affect
Cercospora eucalypti, Corticium salmonicolor, Fomes setulosus, Gymnopilus junonius, Hypholoma fasiculare, Inonotus chondromyelus, Polyporus portentosus, Sclerotinia fuckeliana
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.
Agonoscelis pubescens, Atelocera stictica.
Perga affinis, Phylacteophaga eucalypti.
Ancistrotermes amphidon, Odontotermes feae.
Archips occidentalis, Cleora dargei, Desmeocraera cyprianrii, Eumeta cervina, Kotochalia junodi, Nadasia amblycalymma, Nola lugens, ophiusa tirhaca, Orgyia basalis, Parasa ananii, Strepsicrates rhothia.
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).
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
Agpaoa, A.C. 1980. Murray red gum: A drought and fire resistant species for reforestation. Canopy International 6(10): 1, 8, 10.
Briggs, S.V. and Maher, M.T. 1983. Litter fall and leaf decomposition in river red gum
Swamp. Aust. J. Bot. 31(3):307316.
Browne, F.G. 1968. Pests and diseases of forest plantations trees. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
C.S.I.R. (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research). 19481976. The wealth of India. 11 vols. New Delhi.
Duke, J.A. 1981b. The gene revolution. Paper 1. p. 89150. In: Office of Technology Assessment, Background papers for innovative biological technologies for lesser developed countries. USGPO. Washington.
Duke, J.A. and Wain, K.K. 1981. Medicinal plants of the world. Computer index with more than 85,000 entries. 3 vols.
Jenkins, B.M. and Ebeling, J.M. 1985. Thermochemical properties of biomass fuels. Calif. Agric. 39(5/6):1416.
Little, E.L. Jr. 1983. Common fuelwood crops: a handbook for their identification. McClain Printing Co., Parsons, WV.
Mariani, E.O., Mariani, C.E., and Lipinsky, S.B. 1981. Tropical eucalyptus. p. 373386. In: McClure, T.A. and Lipinsky, E.S. (eds.), CRC handbook of biosolar resources, vol. II. Resource materials. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL.
N.A.S. 1980a. Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.
Standiford, R.B. and Donaldson, D.R. 1982. Trees as energy crops. Cal. Agr. May/June 1920.
Watt, J.M. and Breyer-Brandwijk, M.G. 1962. The medicinal and poisonous plants of southern and eastern Africa. 2nd ed. E.&S. Livingstone, Ltd., Edinburgh and London.
Last update Tuesday, January 6, 1998 by aw