My friend Felix, has the largest eucalyptus that I have seen in Victoria. It's constantly raining down leaves and little bits of bark. We have determined that this material presents a fire hazard, around his home.
Using my cordless blower, I regularly blow them into a long pile, along the side of his house. He puts them in paper bags, which are saved from his own groceries and gleaned from neighboring recycling bins. The material is stacked into his wood pile, so it's easy to get at, as the heating season progresses, and they can't blow away.
This can also be done with trimmings from evergreen hedges. Around here Cedar and Juniper, produce excellent fire starter. It's best to dry them only for a few days, before bagging them up. If left out all summer, much of the volatile oils will evaporate leaving material that is far less flammable.
One little bag of this stuff, is more than adequate to get a fire started in the morning. No pissing around with multiple matches or worrying about how to stack things. Just put in some small wood, set a bag on top, and light it. It takes off like it's dipped in gasoline.
Pine cones, eucalyptus bark, and cedar bark are amongst other items that make for a very quick fire.
We cut a lot of wood at Felix's house, so there's always sawdust. This sawdust is also bagged. It doesn't make the best fire starter, but it burns just fine, once a fire is established. On days when he needs only a little bit of heat, a bag of fire starter with kindling, is followed by a bag of sawdust mixed with other small cut off material. It's a great way to contain the mess and avoid having to haul anything off property. Sawdust from skill saw and a miter saw, are mixed with stuff from the chainsaw. All of this tends to be mixed with a certain amount of eucalyptus waste, that covers the area.
There are more than a few Eucalyptus in the the Santa Clara valley. The bark is the easiest to collect. grab a cardboard box and break it up so it fits in the box. after you are done with the box you can burn that too.
Eucalyptus bark is our favourite fire-lighter too.
I like to use it all up over winter so there's none hanging around creating a fire-risk over the summer, but there's so much eucalyptus around the place that it's no wonder that Portugal seems to be constantly on fire for half the year.
Recent storms have loosened a load of bark and the base of the trees are surrounded by fire-lighters free for the taking.
I live in a Eucalyptus Forest here in Australia.
I don't worry too much about bush fires because I would go mad with worry.
These trees send out gases when burning and these gases can leap 5 - 10 kilometres with a very hot fire.
Back to the droppings from them, you will find the twigs that fall are even better to start fires.
I starts ith the small 1-2mm on top of the dried leaves, add 3-6mm twigs and as the fire starts to take hold put 1- 15 mm etc on, building up as the capability of the fire improves.
As a Scout leader we teach all the young ones how to set a fire with no paper.
Sometimes if I am feeling lucky I show them, no matches techniques, but thats not often.
Here the leaves also make good compost, but I am not sure if they will without our special bugs etc.
John Daley Bendigo, Australia
The Enemy of progress is the hope of a perfect plan
No prison can hold Chairface Chippendale. And on a totally different topic ... my stuff:
A rocket mass heater is the most sustainable way to heat a conventional home