When we think of trees and color, we typically imagine the tree’s leaves. But there is a tree known for its colorful bark. And unlike any other tree, the bark is made up of brilliant fluorescent colors, giving the tree the name Rainbow Eucalyptus.
To first see the Rainbow Eucalyptus, you might think somebody vandalized the tree or poured paint all over it. How can a tree have so many bright, almost fluorescent colors on it? But the bark is authentic. The Rainbow Eucalyptus, also called Eucalyptus deglupta, Mindanao Gum and Rainbow Gum, is naturally found in the Northern Hemisphere. It naturally grows in New Britain, New Guinea, Ceram, Sulawesi and Mindanoa. Others grow the tree and cultivate it now around the world for its pulpwood, which is used in paper.
Of course the tree is also grown for ornamental purposes. The bark, which is patchy and sheds at different times, is bright green, blue, purple, orange, yellow and then maroon, each colors showing its aging process. The tree grows almost 100 feet tall.
This eucalyptus can be grown in the United States in warmer climates. The Hardiness Zone for these trees is 9-11, 26 to 28 degrees, but only for brief periods. The tree does require warmth, has a low tolerance for intense or prolonged frost and requires an abundance of water. If growing the E. Deglupta in a container NEVER let it dry out, as it can prove fatal – these trees do dry out quite quickly. For landscaping purposes, many plant their rainbow eucalyptus near freshwater ponds, lakes or canals. Mature trees can survive in drier areas but they do their best when having access to abundant moisture.
The eucalyptus is an evergreen. It also requires full sun to light shade, but of course prefers full sun. The tree is easy to keep fertilized and is not fussy about food, fertilizing yearly is sufficient. The eucalyptus also is adaptable to different soils, but likes soils that are well drained.
The E. deglupta, like other eucalyptus, are mostly pest free. An occasional mealybug or aphid may appear or even a caterpillar or leafcutting bee, but these trees typically can be grown without pest damage.
The Eucalyptus tree on its own has been a valuable resource as it grows fast and under many conditions. There are over 600 species of Eucalypts. Many of these trees are good for fuelwood and pole production. Because the tree grows so fast, it can build up stresses and lead to distortion, which makes it difficult to cut into potential timber. Eucalyptus is also resistant to termites which means it doesn’t have to be treated, as other wood might – thus helping the environment. On the downside, these trees require a lot of water. It is suggested not to plant them near food crops and plants that also need a lot of light and water as they will compete with each other. The benefit of this tree being a water hog is that it is sometimes used to drain swamps, which in turn reduces the risk of malaria.
Eucalypts belong to the family Myrtaceae. The flowers tend to be groups into inflorescences (with the exception of E.globulus which has single flowers). Bark varies from ribbed to the smooth and can be distinctly deciduous. The leaves are also variable in both shape and color.
The Eucalyptus tree is also known for its fragrant oil. The oil can be used for cleaning and functions as a natural insecticide.
Each Eucalyptus tree has its own look and offerings. As for the Rainbow Euclapytus, it is mostly known for just being quite unique.
About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit http://www.centraltexastreecare.com.