Use Eucalyptus as Fuel
Grow your own firewood in as little as six to eight years, with ideal rotations at eight to fifteen years.
We have different varieties available for different parts of the country, including hardier varieties suitable for exposed places like Donegal. These young plants can be planted and then grown for energy use.
Orders are now been taken for 2020 / 2021 eucalyptus plants. Contact us to find out more and to get your plant orders submitted
Eucalyptus as a Potential Fuel Source
In recent times we have heard a lot about renewable energy and bio mass with willow and miscanthus being promoted as energy crops for the production of wood chip and wood pellets. Eucalyptus has been planted in Ireland over the last 100 years and has had varying degrees of success. While the properties of the timber were problematic and it proved difficult to use as sawn timber, the growth yields were impressive.
Why Choose Eucalyptus?
With the recent interest in the use of timber for wood fuel Eucalyptus could now be a market leader in wood fuel production in Ireland. It produces high volumes of dense timber which is suitable for wood chip, pellets and chopped fire wood. One of the characteristics of eucalyptus is the wood splits easily which makes it a delight to use for chopped firewood and an attractive proposition for owners of log burning stoves or boilers. Plantation plots in Wexford and Waterford show yields of timber upwards of 12 tons of oven dry timber per hectare per year. These yields are from 15 year plantations. When compared to willow, eucalyptus can produce double the yield at all levels.
Eucalyptus grown on an eight year rotation could give similar annual yields as the fifteen year crop. It has the advantage that most but not all varieties will coppice which means that after felling the tree stumps will produce new growth which when thinned out to a single stem will give a new crop of timber after another 8 years. This process can be repeated again to give a third and final crop after which you must replant. One planting of eucalyptus could, thus, give you a 24 year rotation with 3 harvests if varieties that reliably coppice are used.
Eucalyptus is suited to free draining soil and reasonably fertile land. Frost pockets, cold sites elevated sites and wet sites should be avoided. Planting density is usually 2m x 2m spacing for biomass or firewood. A spring planting of small (20cm-30cm) container grown plants is recommended. Weed control pre planting and in the first two years is essential but the leaf canopy will meet after this and further weed control is not usually necessary.
Varieties We Offer
The following varieties are grown by D-Plant Nursery in Glenbrien, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford and are grown on a contract basis. Orders for any amount considered…!
- Nitens – most vigorous but doesn’t reliably coppice
- Denticulata – similar to nitens but coppices well
- Globulus – vigorous, dense, coppices well (unsuited to colder inland areas)
- Urnigera – hardy variety more suited to inland, coppices well
- Glaucescens – hardy variety more suited to inland, coppices well
- Dalrympleana – hardy variety,vigorous with excellent form
Learn more about our Eucalyptus trees
In the episode he talks to Brendan Doyle about the potential of Eucalyptus as a biomass energy source, it’s low maintenance and fertilizing needs, and the quick growing cycle of the trees which can be ready for harvesting as fuel within as little as four years.
Forestry For Fibre Grant Scheme
For more information visit the Teagasc website.