Eucalyptus uses?
December 20, 2012 12:20 PM   Subscribe

A couple of eucalyptus (perhaps E. gunnii) trees are about to be cut down. I've already saved some branches for rooting and for drying. Is it worth trying to extract the essential oils in some way?
posted by gray17 to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Why not? It would be fun, if nothing else.

Perhaps you have misidentified the tree?
My gunnis don't have a particularly distinctive odor.
From the way you are talking about it, "your" trees have some distinctive bouquet.

You can buy the essential oils from a nicholii (peppermint gum) from the web.

From Wikipedia, about gunnis (cider gums):

"The plant produces a sweet sap similar to maple syrup, and is being considered for cultivation for this product. When bottled and capped, the liquid ferments and resembles apple cider, hence cider gum. The sweet foliage is eagerly eaten by livestock."
posted by the Real Dan at 2:03 PM on December 20, 2012

I'm afraid you might not have much luck rooting eucalyptus. I researched this when a nearby tree was threatened, and apparently they are propagated almost exclusively by seed.

It is very common for lots of little shoots to come up around a cut trunk, though. Those shoots also, alas, can't be rooted or transplanted.

The good news is that it's very easy to grow (it's even considered an invasive species in some places, I think California and Ethiopia). It shouldn't be too difficult to get a little plant.

If you want to save some of the tree, maybe get some of the wood and make jewelry of it, or put branches where birds can perch on them.
posted by amtho at 4:05 PM on December 20, 2012

This tree has a very pungent smell! Steam distillation is to complex. I was wondering if there was a particular kind of oil or alcohol I could steep the leaves in. Maybe it could repel mosquitoes. I guess I'll experiment
posted by gray17 at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2012

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