Why We Can’t Get Enough Eucalyptus

At Ambient, we focus on two things — bamboo and eucalyptus floors — period. Because of this, we love to expound on the virtues of the incredible eucalyptus tree! If you’re not familiar with the eucalyptus tree, we’re more than happy to enlighten you on the subject, and hopefully, leave you with a bit more knowledge, and a bit more appreciation for that exotic tree with the fresh-smelling bluish-green leaves that’s quintessentially Australian!

The Amazing Eucalyptus Tree

Eucalyptus fields, eucalyptus, eucalypti, eucalyptuses

Although it is native to Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding islands, the eucalyptus tree also grows in Indonesia and many other temperate locales around the world. It’s part of the genus Myrtaceae, and there are actually numerous — several hundred, in fact — different species of the tree commonly known as eucalyptus.

Perhaps you’ve seen documentaries showing those cuddly little koala bears perched in the branches of a eucalyptus tree. (They munch on the leaves of certain species of eucalyptus as their main source of sustenance!)

Eucalyptus trees, depending on species, are some of the tallest plants in the world, with some reaching dizzying heights of 375-480 feet! In fact, one species in particular — E. amagdalin — actually is the tallest known tree anywhere on the planet. Just think of it as nature’s skyscraper!

The History of the Eucalyptus Tree and Why Humans Love it

Eucalyptus has been used by Australian aboriginals for hundreds of years, primarily for its medicinal qualities. They used the oil to treat everything from a cough and a fever to wounds, asthma, and arthritis.

Early Australian settlers dubbed the eucalyptus the “fever tree” after realizing its disease-fighting properties, and by the mid-1800s, the rest of the world was in on the secret medical magic contained within the tree’s oil-filled leaves. (The credit for spreading the news largely goes to a German botanist/explorer by the name of Baron Ferdinand von Miller.)

The Australians began to produce the oil commercially in Victoria in 1860, and it’s been a profitable industry ever since! In fact, today in the U.S., eucalyptus oil is a component in many over-the-counter cough and cold remedies because of its power as a decongestant.  Here’s an impressive list of some of the medical conditions that eucalyptus oil can help relieve …

  • fever
  • nasal and chest congestion
  • asthma and bronchitis
  • arthritis
  • earaches
  • wounds (Applying it topically wards off infection and viruses.)
  • gum disease (It fights plaque-forming bacteria.)

And that doesn’t take into account the quasi-medical uses of eucalyptus oil in bug sprays, acne cleansers, and dandruff shampoos!

In the 1960′s eucalyptus plantings became all the rage in China, and the trees were planted extensively in the favorable southern Chinese climates.  Today China boasts the world’s 2nd largest stands of eucalyptus (after Brazil) and the trees mature for use hardwood flooring in as little as 3-5 years, not to mention a variety of other products.

Draining the Swamp with Eucalyptus Trees

We’re not talking about the figurative, D.C.-style swamp, here. We’re talking about the real thing! According to the World Health Organization (WHO), eucalyptus trees can be used to drain low-lying, marshy or swampy areas to prevent the pervasive breeding of mosquitoes, which cause malaria. To effectively “suck up” extra water from poor-draining areas, a tree has to have two important qualities:

  1. a tendency to grow very quickly
  2. be a very thirsty species

Eucalyptus, of course, possesses both qualities and eucalyptus trees have been used for that very purpose in places like Algeria and Lebanon. The trees work this magic by absorbing the excess moisture and allowing it to evaporate naturally through their leaves.

(In case you were wondering, eucalyptus oil is “harvested” via a steam distillation process which removes the oil from the fresh, mature leaves and branch tips of older trees. Approximately 25 species of eucalyptus trees in Australia are grown mainly for their oil.)

But Wait — What About the Wood?

eucalyptus texture

Eucalyptus is prized for its rosy heartwood and creamy sapwood, not to mention its ripply grain patterns and “knotty” look. Because it’s a hardwood, eucalyptus is used for floors, and the really good eucalyptus floors use “strand-woven” eucalyptus planks for their exceptional strength and durability. Like bamboo flooring, eucalyptus flooring is many times harder than its traditional hardwood rivals like oak, walnut or maple.

Here’s an important point. Like bamboo, eucalyptus grows quickly (in as little as 3-4 years), making it a truly sustainable resource. In fact, other than the fact that it has “knots” rather than culms, which is basically bamboo’s version of a knot!

An Affordable Option

If you love the look and performance of hardwood floors, but not so much the price, then you’re going to love eucalyptus floors. Averaging 1/2 the cost of traditional hardwood floors, a eucalyptus floor is stronger, harder and more durable, making it an ideal choice for busy families. It’s also in serious contention for “best-looking floor”, when you consider that it looks a bit like fine-grained tropical mahogany, yet it’s not only harder but far less expensive too!

At Ambient, our strand-woven eucalyptus floors are made from trees harvested from well-managed forests, ensuring that you’re getting a truly sustainable product. The rock-hard finish we use is specially formulated to be safe (our products are independently tested and are ultra low-VOC), and because it produces such a hard, protective surface, less of it is needed, which means you see more of that gorgeous and distinctive grain that only a strand-woven eucalyptus floor can deliver.

Available in traditional tongue and groove or click-lock versions, we’ve got the perfect floor whether you’re installing it in a living room, bedroom or even in a finished basement. Our click-lock (snap together) planks are a breeze to install and have a thick 2mm wear layer that can handle multiple sandings, which means that your eucalyptus floor will be looking great and holding up superbly to years and years of family traffic and the occasional mishap. It’s hard as nails, so it resists the denting that hardwood floors are susceptible to over the years.

Here’s the best part. When you buy your strand-woven eucalyptus floor from Ambient, you’ll get the best price, the lowest-cost shipping, and the highest-quality product available anywhere. We’re proud of our A+ BBB certification and committed to supporting you throughout the simple installation process.

Why not request a free sample so you can see and feel the quality inherent in Ambient’s strand-woven eucalyptus floors?

 



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