Growing eucalyptus trees in the UK is still a relatively new endeavour. As such, we are constantly learning about their growing requirements, best silvicultural practices, and how best to utilise them in different contexts.
Here at Grafton Nursery we find ourselves spending quite a lot of time writing blog posts, and answering emails regarding eucalyptus. In the process, we’ve come across many interesting resources, ranging from forestry trial results, to little-known blog posts elsewhere online.
Our objective is to educate and inspire the UK with the many species and uses of eucalyptus, and to that end we’re going to start collating any resources that we come across in this blog post. It is going to be a live document of sorts, constantly updated with new sources.
If you come across anything of interest, please don’t hesitate to send us a link!
Forestry Commission Scotland, 2010 – Interim Guidance on the Grant Aiding and Planting of Eucalyptus in Scotland
A rather useful little summary. Written with the Scottish context in mind, particularly for the use of eucalyptus in SRF (Short rotation forestry). It manages to be fairly balanced towards eucalyptus trees in the areas of invasive potential, water usage, and fire risk. It provides an interesting overview of eucalyptus potential in Scotland, and makes some sensible suggestions as to how they might best be utilised.
I tend to disagree with the assertion that eucalyptus have a low biodiversity potential, certainly when compared to alternative productive species (spruce, fir, etc). The only real consideration appears to be whether the foliage is edible, and the quality of the flowers. No mention is made of the protection offered by an evergreen canopy, nor the lack of potential for hybridisation or invasiveness (invasiveness is considered later, but not tied into the biodiversity considerations).
Contrary to what the document claims, E. glaucescens is not necessarily largely immune to browsing by rabbits or deer. I’ve seen severe deer damage on the edge of a plantation in Doncaster, so whilst it is certainly far less likely to be browsed than most species in the UK, you will still require protection if you have deer populations.
The author acknowledges that there is limited data on allelopathy in the UK, and our observations suggest that it isn’t a risk. Both our climate and the species that we grow appear to reduce the impact significantly.
I agree that our climate makes the risk of fire very unlikely.