Eucalyptus leucadendron Reinw. ex de Vriese
Common Name: Ridge Gum
Ridge gum is a small to medium-sized generally deciduous tree growing up to 26 metres tall[
]. The bole, which is often of poor form, is up to 60 cm in diameter[
The timber is harvested from the wild and used locally.
Citronellal, an essential oil found in most Eucalyptus species is reported to be mutagenic when used in isolation[
In large doses, oil of eucalyptus, like so many essential oils has caused fatalities from intestinal irritation[
]. Death is reported from ingestion of 4 - 24 ml of essential oils, but recoveries are also reported for the same amount[
]. Symptoms include gastroenteric burning and irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, oxygen deficiency, ,weakness, dizziness, stupor, difficult respiration, delirium, paralysis, convulsions, and death, usually due to respiratory failure[
Australia - Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, north to Papua New Guinea.
Flat and undulating country, often near the coast or near watercourses, on heavy soil in woodland and open forest[
]. Along watercourses, seasonally-wet depressions[
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A plant of the lowland tropics, it is found at elevations up to 700 metres[
]. Almost all species of Eucalyptus are adapted to a monsoon climate. Many species can even survive a severe dry season, e.g. The cultivated species E. Alba, E. Camaldulensis, and E. Citriodora[
Eucalyptus species have not adopted a deciduous habit and continue to grow until it is too cold for them to do so. This makes them more susceptible to damage from sudden cold snaps. If temperature fluctuations are more gradual, as in a woodland for example, the plants have the opportunity to stop growing and become dormant, thus making them more cold resistant. A deep mulch around the roots to prevent the soil from freezing also helps the trees to survive cold conditions. The members of this genus are remarkably adaptable however, there can be a dramatic increase in the hardiness of subsequent generations from the seed of survivors growing in temperate zones[
Eucalyptus monocultures are an environmental disaster, they are voracious, allelopathic and encourage the worst possible attitudes to land use and conservation[
The wood is used for heavy-duty construction, as mine timber, for boat building, furniture, handles, sporting goods, agricultural implements, joinery, railway sleepers, poles and carvings[
The wood is also used for fuel[
Seed - surface sow in a sunny position and make sure the compost is not allowed to dry out[
]. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6 - 8 weeks cold stratification at 2Â°c[
]. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as the second set of seed leaves has developed, if left longer than this they might not move well. The seedlings are ready for planting in the field when they are 25 - 30 cm tall, usually after 3 - 4 months.
The seed has a long viability[
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