Eucalyptus Nitens, Shining Gum
The Nitens to my right in the main product photo were planted just before the frosts of February 2019 and were twenty one months old when the photo was taken. They’re well over three metres tall. I was surprised as well 😮
|Hardy:||Medium, frost tolerant to -10°C|
|Soil:||Tolerant of a wide PH and moisture range|
|Growth:||Very fast, up to 2m per year|
|Flowering:||A few months, January to March in the Southern Hemisphere|
Amongst the fastest growing of the Eucalypts. Nitens are generally grown as a firewood crop, though the timber is also used for construction, a pail coloured grain often used for floorboards.
Noted for their ability to withstand strong winds makes them ideal as shelter.
Grant aid is available for planting Nitens, though only within 50 km of the coast. Dept of Agriculture Forest Service
Eucalyptus Nitens are a suitable Eucalyptus for costal areas.
One of the best choices for firewood production for a variety of reasons, one being the straight unbranched growth if they are planted as forestry. Good logs with minimal wastage and brash debris.
Photo by Sevicios on Flickr
According to the research I have done, expect to start harvesting firewood in about 7 to 10 years. Half the timescale of Ash. Growth rates of over 2m per year in ideal conditions.
My personal experience of Nitens has been that they enjoy hydration. I also started improving my soil with diluted milk Kefir and they really started to enjoy themselves 🤣 after that. As I say Nitens like drinking, they have large juvenile leaves and like most Eucalyptus generally transpire more than other tree species.
A great tree for wet areas in Ireland, the photo below is from a mature Nitens forest in New Zealand planted in a boggy gully.
As you can see from the photo above, and below, Nitens grow straight and if planted in a close pattern and then thinned out will produce branch free trunks, with only the canopy of lush leaves.
Hard to believe that the trees in the photo below are only fifteen years old 😮
Again they are from the Southern Hemisphere Farm Forestry New Zealand though New Zealand does have similar climatic conditions to Ireland.
Remarkable growth !
Interestingly the year I started my Eucalyptus business, 2018 which was exceptionally hot ! It was very noticeable that the Nitens grew very quickly to start with when the temperature was average in late spring, but then slowed down considerably, and more or less stopped growing when the temperature got into the mid 40°C range. NOTE they were in a poly tunnel. Once the temperature eased back to the high 20°C to low 30°C they started growing again.
Juvenile Eucalyptus Nitens can look a bit weird with big floppy leaves and square stems with red frills, they certainly don’t look like they could grow into huge 70m plus giants.
Most of my customers are a bit sceptical of Nitens when they see the young trees, as they do look unusual As above though, they grow into exceptional trees very quickly.
Also known as shinning gum because the adult trees have bright light coloured bark.
Here’s a video of a forest of Nitens in Southern Australia
Strong healthy trees with good root growth establish quickly and will require minimal if any aftercare.
Trees regenerate in two ways:
- The awakening of dormant buds at leaf and branch nodes
- Growing from the roots using lignotubers
Nitens do not have lignotubers, and therefore are not suited to coppicing. They can however be pollarded or cut down completely for logs.
Eucalyptus Globulus is similar to Nitens, and can be coppiced.
NOTE that personally my strategy for rotational harvesting of my Eucalyptus is to pollard them, leaving perhaps three metres or so above ground to allow for regeneration from epicormic buds (dormant buds in leaf and branch nodes)
I haven’t yet as of late 2020 done this to the Nitens I have planted. My research so far suggests that Eucalyptus Nitens isn’t a tree that will regenerate fully if pollarded when mature. Young trees will regenerate providing a limited amount (50%) of top crown growth is removed, however regrowth is significantly reduced if say (70%) of top growth is removed from young trees.
This said, I am still keen on Eucalyptus Nitens. Those I have planted have been very resilient here in Ireland with astonishing growth rates. They are a commercial proposition for sustainable firewood logs equivalent to Ash, but in half the timeframe 🤣 The timber is also valuable for constructional use.