Eucalyptus Myths


Since the 60s, many myths were built around the eucalyptus. The failure of the first experiences reforestation was enough for the emergence of unsubstantiated claims on its cultivation. Such statements spread and raised in the media. What is not said is that the results were due to lack of technical knowledge, because it was a totally new activity for that time.

More than 50 years later, many people still believe those negative statements about the eucalyptus, and society still have a certain distrust of planted forests. To clarify the main myths built around the theme, we face the most frequently discussed falsehoods and true explanation.

MYTH: The eucalyptus consumes a lot of water.
TRUTH: Eucalyptus has the capacity to absorb more water during the rainy season and reduce sweating during the dry season than other species that come to lose their leaves at the end of that period. Its roots do not exceed 2.5 m deep, so do not reach the groundwater.In addition, eucalyptus makes very efficient use of water absorbed, which clearly can be seen by comparing productivity vs. other crops that consume the same volume of water. Each liter of water consumed by a forest of eucalyptus wood produces 2.9 g. With the same volume only 1.8 g of sugar, 0.9 g of wheat grains occurs.
Eucalyptus forests also retain less rainwater native forests whose trees have big hearts. In the forest, the water retained is evaporating in the foliage, while areas of eucalyptus most rain falling directly on the volume of soil.

MYTH: Eucalyptus affects the soil.
TRUTH: Compared to agriculture, which has annual cycles, eucalyptus cultivation has cycles of approximately seven years. During that time, it acts on behalf of the soil, contributing to protecting and improving their drainage capacity, aeration and water storage.
When eucalyptus is harvested for use of wood, part of its bark, branches and leaves, which represent almost 70% of its nutrients-stays in the forest itself, where it decomposes. This material forms a thick layer of organic material that protects the soil surface from erosion, and nutrients are used by others eucalyptus trees that grow there.

MYTH: The eucalyptus affect biodiversity.
FACT: Contrary to what was reported, the forestry sector has a very serious commitment to the preservation of biodiversity. Eucalyptus forests are planted in consortium with native reserves, and part of the land is established as a permanent protected area. This makes possible the formation of true ecological corridors that favor the existence and permanence of diverse fauna and flora.
The issue of biodiversity is also related to the conditions of the region where the eucalyptus forest is set, but usually an area that was once native forest that was later converted into a eucalyptus forest will result in a considerable increase in biodiversity.

MYTH: eucalyptus forests affect surrounding communities.
TRUTH: those who believe that the implementation of a eucalyptus forest threatens communities living near him and affects the economy of the region, they are wrong. Quite the contrary, eucalyptus forests generate dozens of direct and indirect jobs. Both nurseries where seedlings are produced as maintaining developing forest itself require skilled labor, and nothing better than hiring people from miles around to meet this demand. At the same time, these people have the opportunity to learn a trade and specialize in it.
Moreover, investment is also set to infrastructure as it requires, for example, roads in good condition to transport timber to the areas of conversion and manufacture, therefore any person or community to use those routes will have benefited directly. This is just one example of how an eucalyptus forest can contribute to improving the region where it is located.