• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

What can grow under a Eucalyptus forest?

 
Paulo Bessa
pollinator
Posts: 352
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
12
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You want to grow a food forest, when you have a eucalyptus forest. You only have eucalyptus.

What can you grow food-wise under the eucalyptus canopy and in clearings mulched with eucalyptus leaves?

Please let me know both annuals and perennials...
 
Elliot Everett
Posts: 29
Location: Coastal Uruguay. Wet winters, hot and dry summers. 1000 mm annual rain.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am interested in this too.
 
Paula Edwards
Posts: 411
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have searched the web on this too but there is not much information like what you would be able to grow under a walnut tree for example.
One advantage is that gum trees don't have a very dense crown so there's enough light coming through.
The funny thing is that people around here are not aware of gum tree problem and put their veggie beds as raised beds under gum trees and you won't believe it this seems to work. Establishing a food forest might be more difficult but I think raised veggie beds will work. Mushroom might work too.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 267
Location: Ohio, USA
13
fish food preservation forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
the answer is - not much. Eucalyptus are allelopathic. Meaning, they specifically turn the environment to one that is only eucalyptus friendly. What you can do is grow mushrooms. I read in a mushroom growing book shitake can grow on eucalyptus logs. I've never tried it myself, but I think that would be the best crop to try. Some invasive species, like cape ivy, can some times tolerate the under eucalyptus environment....but that's all I got on the subject.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 267
Location: Ohio, USA
13
fish food preservation forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For shade areas in general check out: http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=83
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8982
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
132
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paula Edwards wrote:I have searched the web on this too but there is not much information like what you would be able to grow under a walnut tree for example.


Eric Toensmeier wrote:Edible Forest Gardens has a table of species that grow fine with black walnut juglone.
 
Andrew Kay
Posts: 31
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
in temperate forests nearby there is a dominant duoculture of tree ferns under a eucalypt canopy. You may be able to find a fern with edible parts that grows under gums. Further, you may be able to grow orchids on the ferns. Vanilla? That would be pretty wonderful

If you search for "yarra ranges plant communities", you will find a detailed list of 36 microclimate-specific natural guilds identified within the gum-dominated area im speaking of.

P.s. honey from bees fed primarily on gum varieties is extremely common here in Australia. You may already have an untappedresource that will assist pollination of your food forest.
 
Paula Edwards
Posts: 411
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Theoretically nothing grows there, but as said, I saw veggie gardens under gum trees. Maybe you try a raised bed and if you think that the roots will invade the
bed then put a weed mat underneath. Or try some cheap fruit trees, stuff you grow out of a seed or from a cutting.
Maybe it depends as well on the soil climate and the type of gum tree.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Eucalyptus are a danger for your food forest!
They are full of gum, and they BURN easily.
They will even catch fire at a distance, only with heat, because their oil is volatile.

I think you can cut some trees!
I see no problem to cut when replanting right away!
Anyway, eucalyptus were once planted and then they grew in places that they liked.

My island have some eucalyptus too, but very little and they do not extend, as life is hard for them here.
Anyway, I have seeds, but the citriodora type, because it is a good medicinal for joints and as insect repellent.
 
Elliot Everett
Posts: 29
Location: Coastal Uruguay. Wet winters, hot and dry summers. 1000 mm annual rain.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a veggie garden under blue gum eucs. We are at the edge of basically a coastal blue gum / red gum monocrop extension. Swiss chard grows well and Broccoli does alright too. I think the allelopathic factor is overblown. What really hinders growth IMO are the roots that suck up not only water but nutrients. I have a test compost bin using mainly euc waste, grass and manure. It's about pH neutral, so I don't really believe the acid rap that the eucs get either.

Also, we have a ton of native Uruguayan bushes that grow under the eucs (chal chal, anacahuita, etc.) All volunteers. Again, this makes me believe that the overwhelmingly anti-euc bias just isn't justified.

In my experience you will have to take a spade to cut about a foot down around wherever you are trying to grow to cut the small, stringy brown euc roots that hinder veggie growth.
 
Paula Edwards
Posts: 411
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Xisca you don't have bushcare ladies in your country and no bushcare workers either. In most areas you cannot simply cut you gum tree down, but you are definitively right they are a fire hazard, topple easily over in strong winds and sometimes drop branches on your head.
 
Rose Pinder
Posts: 401
Location: Otago, New Zealand
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think it depends on the species of Eucalypt (they're not all the same), how close the trees are, and how many you can remove.



Here's a couple of discussions from the Australians that you might find useful.

http://forums.permaculture.org.au/showthread.php?7514-who-s-afraid-of-the-big-eucalypt

http://forums.permaculture.org.au/showthread.php?5857-quot-Eucalyptus-Friend-or-Foe-quot

http://forums.permaculture.org.au/showthread.php?45-Eucalypts-Eucalypts-the-permaculture-garden&p=332#post332



There's at least one euc in this food forest (with citronella growing below it and food plants nearby)

http://forums.permaculture.org.au/showthread.php?13306-Bazman-s-food-forest-over-9-years

http://www.biochar.net/kurwongbah/media/map.jpg



 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1277
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paula Edwards wrote:Xisca you don't have bushcare ladies in your country and no bushcare workers either. In most areas you cannot simply cut you gum tree down, but you are definitively right they are a fire hazard, topple easily over in strong winds and sometimes drop branches on your head.


Oops right! We have the same here with pines and dragos!
Forbidden to cut them.
Well, you can quit a few depending how big and how many there are...
Thus I would replace slowly.
 
Acetylsalicylic acid is aspirin. This could be handy too:
Got Permaculture games? Yes! 66 cards, infinite possibilities::
www.FoodForestCardGame
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic