I often wonder that myself! Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia but are quite adaptable to a vareity of climates and have become invasive in regions throughout the world, from the Andes to South Africa.
The most popular use of Eucalyptus trees is probably the wood; they are fast growing trees that sprout again from the root when cut so it is easy to get a continual harvest from a patch of Eucalyptus trees. The wood is versatile and can be used for timber, pulpwood, firewood and ornamental pieces.
The trees are quite tall and so function well as wind breaks and have extensive root systems so helpt to prevent erosion.
The oil from the leaves is also used for a variety of cosmetic purposes.
Eucalyptus branches can also be used as a natural air freshener in the home, and the oil is used in soaps and cleansers as a fragrance.
Eucalyptus trees have also been flagged by the U.S. Department Energy as a potentially viable option for biomass fuel. In addition, Eucalyptus trees have been cited in the past as being effective in preventing malaria outbreaks. A combination of helpful properties is likely to be the cause of this claim. Not only do the tree roots draw away stagnant water from swamps, but the vapors of the Eucalyptus are said to disinfect the surrounding air and to also improve the breathing of those living near the trees.
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