Eucalyptus trees have a long history in symbolism and folklore, the most well-known being the Eucalyptus tree’s association with healing.
This connection stems from Eucalyptus oil being commonly used in traditional medicine for relieving respiratory symptoms and fighting off infections.
In addition to their medicinal uses, Eucalyptus trees are often seen as symbols of protection, renewal, and abundance. Eucalyptus leaves are often used in traditional ceremonies for cleansing a space or person of negative energy, allowing for new beginnings and growth.
Eucalyptus trees can also symbolize generosity, as they were known for providing food and shelter for various Australian indigenous communities. Overall, Eucalyptus trees have a rich symbolic history that continues to be relevant today.
Eucalyptus tree symbolism has been essential in many cultures and religions throughout history. Whether used for its medicinal qualities or to protect and promote growth, this tree has long been seen as a source of balance and hope.
Restoring balance, increasing vitality
The world’s tallest tree was a eucalyptus, not the redwoods as one might have guessed. In 1872, this eucalyptus was recorded at 435ft (132.6m) while standing at Watts River in Victoria, Australia. Scientists believe that it was previously even taller than 500ft (152m).
About Eucalyptus Trees
Eucalyptus trees are a fast-growing, evergreen genus that contains over 400 species. They are found primarily in Australia, where they have adapted to environments ranging from the tropical north to the temperate south, the moist east to the dry west.
Eucalyptus trees are not found naturally in New Zealand.
These trees, also called “gum” trees, thrive in many types of soil and climates. They have lush leaves, unique multi-stamened flowers, and appealing bark that peels off in layers.
The seeds are stored inside woody (and sometimes hard) capsules, which keep them safe from dangers such as forest fires and insects.
The eucalyptus is the most abundant tree in the forests of Australia, making up more than 90 percent. The sturdy wood has many purposes ranging from essential oils to tannins.
In addition, they are very pretty and 200 species have been introduced to other regions outside of Australia–but mainly Tasmanian blue gum (E. globulus).
Eucalyptus trees are a danger to local species outside of the parks and gardens because they can quickly take over an area. They grow up 30m in only 10 years and don’t need much attention.
Additionally, they have been genetically enhanced to be resistant to disease, which has caused problems in areas where they aren’t native to Australia.
Why are eucalyptus plantations so terrible for the environment? The fallen leaves can’t be broken down by microorganisms, and the phenols in the leaves poison other plants.
There’s also no humus buildup on the ground, which means there’s no habitat for undergrowth, bees or birds. All you’ll find in a eucalyptus plantation is an eerie silence.
Eucalyptus trees are known for their large water consumption, and they can also lower the groundwater table which affects surrounding areas negatively.
In Spain and Portugal, farmers protest against having these plantations because often big landowners will clear out fields of cork oak and olive trees to make more space for eucalyptus.
The Tasmanian blue gum and the gully gum, or Blackbutt peppermint (E. smithii), are two of the most popular eucalyptus species used in medicinal practices.
Eucalyptus oil is widely known for its ability to relieve blocked sinuses and clear congestion. The Tasmanian blue gum and gully gum both have these properties, but the oils of the latter are gentler and more suitable for children.
Moreover, research has shown that eucalyptus oils have antibacterial effects. Consequently, when blended with other oils, eucalyptus makes an excellent massage oil choice for those suffering from arthritis or tense muscles.
Folklore, Myth and Symbol of Eucalyptus Trees
There is, of course, an abundance of native Australian customs and legends concerning eucalyptus trees. They are among the most sacred trees for many Aboriginal tribes, but without the tribes’ permission, this subject cannot be written about.
Like many extant tribal nations, Aborigine groups keep an ancient oral tradition and do not permit the reproduction of sacred — and for a good part still secret — knowledge in any media.
Profound wisdom about a special tree would be “initiation knowledge”, passed on from an elder only to chosen initiate who would have to come from the correct clan and background. Our lesson here is respect.
However, one sacred use of the eucalyptus that most Westerners are familiar with is the didgeridoo. Originally, this ancient ceremonial instrument was formed from a eucalyptus branch hollowed out by termites.
Playing the didgeridoo creates an intense and distinctive droning sound, which is the result of the unique “circular breathing’’ technique employed by the player.
However, it is much more than a mere hum, for traditionally among the forest tribes of northern Australia a myriad of variations, overlays and sound effects can be created by the didgeridoo user, often simulating the natural noises made by birds and animals.
The huge worldwide interest in the didgeridoo from modern musicians and New Age “shamans“ alike is threatening some of the Australian eucalypti stands (with the natural work of the termites now being replicated by that of woodworkers).
Of course, the sale of a “didge” might contribute to the livelihood of an indigenous family in the short term, but most of the profits usually go to the tradespeople.
If you wish to purchase a didgeridoo it might be more ethical — unless you have personal connections with the Australian “outback“ — to have one made in your locality, using local wood.
Symbolism and Meanings of Eucalyptus Trees
Eucalyptus trees are strongly associated with the themes of cleansing, purification, and renewal.
Researchers have found that eucalyptus trees absorb gold particles from the ground and send them up into their leaves. They also tap into deep underground water sources, soaking up sunlight at an unusually rapid rate to fuel their growth.
Moreover, their lush, potent scent helps us to feel both energized and relaxed–emotions that are congruent with a prosperity consciousness. This is useful when we want to break free from feelings of depression, stagnation or fear about money.
Cleansing and Clearing
Eucalyptus is known for its ability to cleanse and purify. In the same way that these trees are often planted in swampy areas to help reduce moisture and lower the risk of malaria, eucalyptus can also help clear mucus and infection from the respiratory tract.
This action is mirrored energetically by the tree’s ability to clear negativity from a space or person and raise its overall vibration.
Eucalyptus trees are packed with oil, making them so flammable that they have been known to explode when exposed to fire. In feng shui and common speech, we associate fire with fame.
For example, when someone is gaining popularity, we say they’re “on fire”, “about to catch on”, or “exploding”, The old cliché “I can see it now—my name in lights” also paints a fiery picture, as does saying celebrities are “stars.”
It’s no surprise that eucalyptus trees have become common place in Hollywood. Although Southern California doesn’t need any more flammable plants in its forests, the climate is ideal for these trees.
This tree makes for a good symbol of fame because it tends to grow and spread quickly.
The symbolism and meanings of the eucalyptus tree are vast. This tree is often associated with themes of cleansing, purification, and renewal.