The Eucalyptus Tree also known as the Red River Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), or Eucalipto in Spanish, is a non-native tree species that has become an iconic symbol of southern California. It is one of 10 naturalized species of eucalyptus tree in San Diego County.
All Eucalyptus Trees are native to Australia; it was brought to California by immigrants in the mid to late 1800s to help with lumber for construction, fuel, railroad ties, and as wind breaks. By the 1880s, San Diego city planners were planting the tree along sidewalks for beauty and shade. The tree can grow to more than 125 feet tall and range in colors from grayish-white to reddish-brown with a dull blue-green leaf. It is a fast growing tree and will grow straight under favorable conditions but can easily grow twisted and crooked under drier and less favorable conditions.
To see more photos of the Eucalyptus tree, visit the San Diego Natural History Museum’s San Diego County Plant Atlas.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jim Melli, SDNHM