Monday, May 5, 2008


By: Tasso Resende de Azevedo, Brazil

The Eucalyptus hatd its natural habitat in Australia, but was transplanted with success all over the world. In Brazil, its cultivation was developed to provide firewood for the trains of the CEEP – Companhia Paulista de Estrada de ferro in the 60’s.

However, the exceptional wood characteristics and the perfect acclimatization of (variety) species to the most diverse climatic conditions and soils that Brazil, presents position the Eucalyptus between the most important species used in the reforestation in the country.

In the late 60’s and during the 70’s and 80’s, a policy of low taxes encouraged the research and the expansion of the areas planted with Eucalyptus. Nowadays the species supply basic elements for paper and pulp industries, charcoal for siderurgy, wood for panels, boards and lamp-posts among others. These product are exported too many countries.

The most significative species in Brazil are Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus urophyla. For these two, a few years of research were carried out and if in the beginnings of 70’s its cut-age was 15-20 years, today the companies are working with cycles of 4-7 years and a productivity of 50-70 st/ha/yeas. The clones produced in some places can produce more than 100 st/ha/year. The cost of production is around US$ 1700,00/ha on the first rotation and US$ 650,00/ha on the second and subsequent.

Besides these many others are used. One that has interesting destiny Eucalyptus citriodora; essential oils produced from its leaves are used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Some institutes like IPT – Technological Research Institute – are studying the possibilities of using the Eucalyptus as timber-wood in civil buildings, houses, the furniture industry and others.

But it’s not all wonderful, if on one hand the Eucalyptus together with other exotic species, helps to reduce the pressures on the tropical forests, having, for example, to obtain of pulp and paper companies their products exclusively from the plantations, on the other hand many of areas virgin forests were clear cut to plant Eucalyptus, like in the north of Espirito Santo State.

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