At first glance, you might just think someone got a little carried away and painted those tree barks. Reasonable guess, but what if I told you that those colorful streaks formed naturally? And that these colorful trees are actually real!? Not all bark is brown, my friends, and these multi-colored timbers are here to prove it!
Eucalyptus deglupta trees, also known as “rainbow trees” or “Mindanao gum trees,” are tropical evergreens known for their colorful, rainbow-like bark. Every season, these trees shed their old rinds, revealing a new variegated layer of oranges, blues, and greens. It’s magical, not to mention beautiful, especially since the tree’s shelling will never look exactly the same over the years.
As different layers of the bark shed and expose new areas, the rainbow eucalyptus displays a captivating visual spectacle, resembling a vibrant, multicolored crayon scratch drawing. The process involves the removal of a black outer layer to reveal the multiple hues underneath, creating a stunning effect.
Also referred to as Mindanao gum or rainbow gum, the rainbow eucalyptus holds significant commercial value despite being naturally colorless. The tree’s thin bark layers serve as an excellent source of pulpwood, the primary component used in manufacturing white paper. Due to their resistance to pests and diseases and rapid growth rate of up to three feet per year, these trees are widely cultivated in pulpwood plantations.
Rainbow eucalyptus trees bear white flowers and possess moderately wide evergreen leaves. These leaves contain glands that produce a fragrant oil, although not as abundant as other eucalyptus species renowned for their oil production. Nevertheless, the visual appeal of this tree compensates for the relatively lower oil output.
The rainbow eucalyptus is the sole eucalyptus tree species native to the Northern Hemisphere. It predominantly thrives in tropical forests found in the Philippines, New Guinea, and Indonesia, where ample rainfall occurs. This unique characteristic also distinguishes it as the only eucalyptus tree capable of flourishing in rainforest environments.