Problems with eucalyptus oil – and how we solved it

The eucalyptus tree: a tall and proud aborigine of nature. For centuries, this tree has been growing in countries such as Australia and Indonesia. In only 12 months, the little eucalyptus plantlet develops into a tall and proud tree of up to seven meters. The trunk gets strong and sturdy, too.

However, perhaps the most famous accreditation the eucalyptus tree receives is for its oil, which nearly all of us love to smell. It is used in medicine and various essences and cremes. But this exact oil is left out in TreeCoin’s eucalyptus hybrids. Why does TreeCoin do this? This is what we will explain to you in the following article.

forest fire

Highly flammable

While eucalyptus oil is curative, beneficial and refreshing for humans, it also hides some serious danger for the surrounding nature. Like nearly every oily substance, it burns very fast. For the environment, the oil is a high risk for potential forest fire.

The eucalyptus oil is made from the tree’s oval-shaped leaves. The leaves are dried, crushed, and distilled to release the essential oil. From the hanging leaves of the tree, the oil drops onto the soil and is then absorbed. This absorbed oil is called Cineol, which contains bactericidal properties. Naturally then, inside the soil, the oil works as a fire accelerant once it gets close to a fire. Moreover, the seed capsules crack under the influence of fire, supporting its expansion.

eucalyptus seed capsules

These seed capsules crack under the pressure of fire and set the eucalyptus seeds free.

Many eucalyptus detractors also see the fact that fires are surprisingly not that bad for eucalyptus trees. The roots and seeds are able to survive fires, allowing the tree to recover faster than any other type of tree. Additionally, the fire even helps with the tree’s growth.

Even though fire helps eucalyptus trees grow, the disadvantages caused by the fire are far more important. Other trees do not benefit from the fire. Neither do animals living in the area. And let’s not mention the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air we breathe. Good to know that TreeCoin only uses oil-free trees.

eucalyptus cultivations

The “Eucalyptus-Riot”

In 1989, the eucalyptus debate reached a new peak. The EU agricultural policy had promoted the voluntary decommissioning of oil fields in the northeast of Tras-o-Montes. The reason was an excess of vegetable oils. The landowners who felled their olive trees received a bonus and sold their land to a paper industry. As a result, many workers lost their jobs.

In their anger and desperation, these unemployed people extracted thousands of eucalyptus seedlings because these were also oil producers and not involved in decommissioning the surface. In this uprising, many were oppressed by the police. Not surprisingly, eucalyptus was not the favorite topic of the day. After the riots, the government passed a law that aimed to regulate the cultivation of eucalyptus.

no eucalyptus oil illustrated


The oil-free eucalyptus tree

Despite the stories, TreeCoin believes in using eucalyptus trees for its mission. The wood is ideal for industrial purposes and the fast-growing characteristic is a guarantee of a profitable investment.

So the team searched for the perfect eucalyptus type. One without oil – and they found one! They obtained hybrid trees that retain all the good habits of a eucalyptus tree, with the exception of the much talked about oil. One of them is a combination of the red eucalyptus and the Corymbia citriodora, otherwise known as the citrus eucalyptus. Another hybrid was created with the red eucalyptus and the eucalyptus grandis, known as the flooded gum. These hybrids are not only oil-free but also have a lot of benefits.

buds of a red eucalyptus

Especially the red eucalyptus is a perfect living space for a variety of animals. It is often found near water. Branches that fall off and land in the water, serve as breeding areas for fish. The leaves and the bugs that fall off the tree serve as food for animals living in the same area.

Planting these trees has benefited the environment, the animals, and our project. No oil assures the safety of the soil.