The Myths and Truths of Eucalyptus

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Word about the eucalyptus began to appear around the 60s and 70s of the last century when the reforestation did not show the expected results on the productivity.

The claim that the eucalyptus weakens the soil is false, because almost everything it removes is returned. After harvesting; bark, leaves and branches, which have 70 percent tree nutrients, remain in place and are incorporated into the soil as organic matter to contribute to erosion control.

It is common to hear that eucalyptus generates a green desert; this statement is also false. Having to leave part of the property to the legal reserve and permanent protection area, eucalyptus and underbrush form a corridor for conservation areas and create a habitat for wildlife, providing shelter conditions, food and even reproduction as shown by studies done by Klabin and Aracruz.

It’s true that they are not a habitat for as many animals like other trees, but there is proof that they are a wonderful habitat: these animals were recorded in forests in Ramires Reflorestamentos Company in Mato Grosso do Sul.

Another false claim is that the eucalyptus does not generate social and economic benefits in the city. When handled properly, however, it generates as much benefits as other rural enterprises, starting with the large number of direct and indirect jobs that it generates both in nurseries, and in the planting and maintenance of forests. Furthermore, it generates tax collection, investment in infrastructure, local production of consumer goods, promoting the various types of new businesses and initiatives in the social area like building houses, clinics and schools.

Added to this information, it is always good to remember that one hectare of eucalyptus consumes 10 tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year, contributing to the reduction of pollution, global warming and fighting the greenhouse effect. As a result, other than being a profitable and productive business, eucalyptus plantations have fulfilled its significant role in reducing the pressure on native forests; that is still being used widely for the consumption of charcoal, furniture and solid wood.



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