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View Full Version : A Question To Australian Gardeners.



BigDon
2017-Jun-25, 06:28 PM
I happen to live immediately down wind of a large stand of 100+ year old eucalyptus trees so my plot of flowers is subjected to a constant rain of leaves and bark strips.

(Do a Google street view of El Camino Real in the southern end Burlingame, California to see what I'm talking about. :))

Now I've been diligent in not letting the debris accumulate because I keep reading about how allopathic the leaves are. I've read up on eucs and even understand the concept of podocarps.

Clev, eucalyptus trees' roots are reversed from most large plants. Most trees have nutrient gathering roots set shallower than their water gathering roots. By their chemical nature euc leaves breaking down set up an acidic condition whereby nutrients are transported deeper into the soil, out of reach of other plants and allowing them to dominate out other tree types. In soil sciences this is a podocarp. So it's not technically toxic, just engineered in favor of the eucs.

What I'm wondering about is straight up allopathy and how strong it is. Do you have to exclude eucalyptus products from your compost pile is my main question?

My second question is do Aussies call them eucs, (yukes) as well?

01101001
2017-Jun-25, 06:47 PM
Not an Aussie. I've used eucalyptus leaves in compost under advice to make sure it's a warm process, with carbon sources added to balance the eucalyptus nitrogen.

I think they are casually called gum trees down under.

Canis Lupus
2017-Jun-25, 09:25 PM
I happen to live immediately down wind of a large stand of 100+ year old eucalyptus trees so my plot of flowers is subjected to a constant rain of leaves and bark strips.

(Do a Google street view of El Camino Real in the southern end Burlingame, California to see what I'm talking about. :))

Now I've been diligent in not letting the debris accumulate because I keep reading about how allopathic the leaves are. I've read up on eucs and even understand the concept of podocarps.

Clev, eucalyptus trees' roots are reversed from most large plants. Most trees have nutrient gathering roots set shallower than their water gathering roots. By their chemical nature euc leaves breaking down set up an acidic condition whereby nutrients are transported deeper into the soil, out of reach of other plants and allowing them to dominate out other tree types. In soil sciences this is a podocarp. So it's not technically toxic, just engineered in favor of the eucs.

What I'm wondering about is straight up allopathy and how strong it is. Do you have to exclude eucalyptus products from your compost pile is my main question?

My second question is do Aussies call them eucs, (yukes) as well?

Question 1: No, but the leaves dried a little do burn well and make excellent insect protection when camping. Otherwise, they they get tossed on the compost heap with everything else.

Question 2: No, not often unless they get turned into a four stringed small musical instrument. Like most places "Yuke" is reserved for the instrument. I have heard them referred to as "Euch" though but it is unusual. The more common expression is a "gum". Aussies shorten everything - been told it has something to do with giving the flies as little chance as possible to get in our mouths, which is why we hardly open our mouths when talking. :)

I'm impressed by your research, Don. As a result I will be extending my vocab a little reading up on things myself.

For what it is worth I am no expert, but do have a love for the gum tree, which comes in many variants. My favorite being Lemon Gum and Spotted Gum, both of which I wanted to use to establish a plantation on a property I used to own. Spotted Gum is prized hardwood. Both are beautiful trees and are often planted as ornamentals. The Lemon Gum produces citronella and a smooth bark. I still take pride in the many gum trees I planted and are thriving on my previous country property.

My understanding of their root system is it reaches deep to the waterline in the soil. It makes them virtually drought proof as a result. They also benefit greatly in their growth rates by companion planting with nitrogen fixing species such as Wattles, which eucalyptus trees thrive off. Moving a gum tree, once established, is difficult. Their roots extend far and deep, and moving an established one usually results in their death, even at a young age.

Some species like Blue Gum grow spectacularly quickly. I planted a number on my property, which had quite fertile soil from being a sheep paddock for decades, and they reach 5 metres within 2 years, but you probably know all that from what you have seen over there. I believe they are regarded as pests in the US - shame about that.

BigDon
2017-Jun-26, 04:17 PM
I'm impressed by your research, Don. As a result I will be extending my vocab a little reading up on things myself.

Not research per se. I'm nearly 60 years old. And have been in either the plant industry or tropical fish for most of my youth. So it's more like osmosis. :)

(I didn't start moving furniture until my forties.)

One nursery I worked for sold over 50 species of eucalyptus and I had to familiarize myself with their flowering and growth habits as a job requirement.

I point out a lot of ornamental species and some people don't believe they're eucs at all. The ones with the red flowers and reddish oak-like bark are popular. Plus the blue gums. Our zoos have no problems keeping koalas fed.

Canis Lupus
2017-Jun-26, 07:20 PM
Not research per se. I'm nearly 60 years old. And have been in either the plant industry or tropical fish for most of my youth. So it's more like osmosis. :)

(I didn't start moving furniture until my forties.)

One nursery I worked for sold over 50 species of eucalyptus and I had to familiarize myself with their flowering and growth habits as a job requirement.

I point out a lot of ornamental species and some people don't believe they're eucs at all. The ones with the red flowers and reddish oak-like bark are popular. Plus the blue gums. Our zoos have no problems keeping koalas fed.

Koalas, as it turns out, are quite particular about the type of eucalyptus they eat - there aren't many they like. Pity, because we have the occasional visit from one in our gum tree in the front yard which is a treat, but they never stay long. On the plus side, we don' have to put up with their mating sounds, which are quite horrific for such cute little creatures.

The gum you are referring to I'm guessing is the flowering red gum (http://hutchisonsplantsplus.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/7356655044_30f561bc1f_b.jpg), a Western Australian species originally. I planted one in my yard - they are pwetty.

To be a Koala, stoned all day on eucalyptus, sleep sleep and more sleep, then make a hell of a noise mating at night. Good for some. Why has there never been a rock band called The Koalas?

geonuc
2017-Jun-26, 09:38 PM
Why has there never been a rock band called The Koalas?

Lol. Of course there's a band named The Koalas. :)

https://www.thekoalas.com/band.html

Canis Lupus
2017-Jun-27, 09:40 AM
Lol. Of course there's a band named The Koalas. :)

https://www.thekoalas.com/band.html

Degenerates obviously :)

BigDon
2017-Jun-27, 03:47 PM
My anti-virus wouldn't let me proceed to the site without an argument so I didn't.