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Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm.

Forest redgum

Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.

  1. Uses
  2. Folk Medicine
  3. Chemistry
  4. Description
  5. Germplasm
  6. Distribution
  7. Ecology
  8. Cultivation
  9. Harvesting
  10. Yields and Economics
  11. Energy
  12. Biotic Factors
  13. References


Recommended as a fuelwood species for arid and semiarid tropical regions, this shade and shelterbelt species has heavy wood (sp. grav. 0.75–1.05), is hard, durable, and strong but difficult to work. It is used for fuel, pulp, pilings, fiberboard, and construction; also for crossties and fenceposts.

Folk Medicine

No data available.


Leaves contain 0.48–0.66% essential oil, 0–10.4% of which is cineol. The bark and kino contain tannin.


Evergreen tree 18–46 m high with straight stout trunk 1–1.8 m in diameter, large and open or fairly dense crown. Bark smooth, whitish, peeling in irregular thin sheets or large flakes, becoming mottled with white, gray, or blueish patches. Leaves alternate, lanceolate, 10–21 cm long, 12–25 mm wide, often curved, acuminate, acute at base, slightly thickened, shiny green on both surfaces, glabrous. Umbels single at leaf base, 2.5–3 cm long including the rounded stalk of 1 cm. Flowers 5–12, spreading on equal stalks on 5–7 mm. Buds 12–16 mm long, 5 mm wide. Stamens many, threadlike, white, 10–12 mm long, anthers small and elliptical, with small round gland. Pistil with inferior 4–5-celled ovary and long stout style. Capsules several, hemiglobose or turbinate, 6–9 mm long, 8–10 mm in diameter. Seeds many, tiny, 1 mm long and broad, shiny dark brown to black (Little, 1983).


Reported from the Australian Center of Diversity, forest redgum, or cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate drought and light frosts. It does not tolerate acidic soils or waterlogging. (2n = 22)


With a wide latitudinal range (6–38°S) of ca 3,000 km from sea level to 1,800 m, the forest redgum is native from eastern Australia into New Guinea and Papua, the species is widely introduced, faring notably in South Africa for example. Reported in Argentina, Botswana, Brazil (national average yield 18 m3/ha/yr), Congo, Cuba, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Papua, Paraguay, Peru, Sudan, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe (Mariani et al., 1981; Fenton et al., 1977).


Estimated to range from Tropical Very Dry to Moist through Warm Temperate Dry to Moist Forest Life Zones, forest redgum is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 5 to 20 dm, annual temperature of 16 to 25°C, and pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Where it grows naturally, it may tolerate 0–15 frosts a year. The dry season may extend for 7 months. The mean maximum temperature of the warmest month is ca 27°C, while the mean minimum of the coolest month is 7°C. Soils, usually not acidic, are rather rich, moist, alluvial, sandy loams and gravels, not usually waterlogged (Mariani et al., 1981).


No data available.


In Argentina it is harvested on 7–8-year rotations for charcoal, 9–12-year cycles for construction timber (Mariani et al., 1981).

Yields and Economics

On good sites in Argentina, an MAI of 18–30 m3/ha/yr is obtainable, but in poor sites in India, the MAI may be closer to 3. At Dehra Dun, the 'Mysore' hybrid yielded only 3 m3/ha/yr compared to 22 for E. grandis (Fenton et al., 1977).


In his compilation, Cannell (1982) cites data showing that trees 5 years old, spaced at 1,670 trees/ha, averaged a basal area of 18 m2/ha. The stemwood and bark on a DM basis weighed 53.7 MT/ha, the branches 10.1, the foliage 6.7, and the roots were estimated at 10.6 MT/ha for a total standing biomass of 81.1 MT/ha. Nine-year olds spaced at 840 trees/ha averaged basal area of 42 m2/ha. The stemwood and bark weighed 139.2 MT/ha, the branches 30.9, the foliage 8.0, and the roots were estimated at 18.6 for a total standing biomass of 196.7; suggesting an annual increment exceeding 20 MT/ha. The wood is used for firewood and charcoal. In Argentina, it is grown for the charcoal iron industry on a 7–8-year rotation. Calorific values were measured of different parts of 5–9-year old trees and their litter. Values for living material ranged from 3.2 to 5.7 kcal/g, similar to published values for forest communities. Energy content, annual production, retention and release through litter fall are tabulated for each stand age. Net annual production (in kcal/ha x 108) increased from 0.93 (of which 0.83 is retained in the tree and 0.10 released as litter) at 5 yr old to 1.56 (1.32 retained and 0.24 released) at 9 yr old. Energy fixation by E. tereticornis appears more efficient than in some other tree species reported in the literature (Singh, 1980).

Biotic Factors

Fenton et al. (1977) mention Alternaria tenuissima, Corticium salmonicolor, Cylindrocladium scoparium, Ganoderma lucidum, and Sclerotinia fuckeliana among diseases. Scarab beetles may defoliate this and other species. The coreid, Amblypelta cocophaga, has been associated with trees suffering dieback.


Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
Last update Tuesday, January 6, 1998 by aw