David Meek, age 12, of Hutchinson, Kan., for his question:
WHERE DID THE EUCALYPTUS ORIGINATE?
One of Australians gifts to the world is the eucalyptus tree. This shady, heavily leaved tree is a member of the myrtle family. Originally it could be found only in Australia but today its more than 250 varieties can be found growing in Europe, Algeria, Egypt, India, South America and most of the Southern part of the United States. It adapts well.
Eucalyptus is an exceptionally fast growing tree. A young tree can add as much as 13 feet to its height in a single year. Some varieties of the tree can reach 325 feet in height.
Eucalyptus trees like water and actually require a great deal of moisture in order to do wall. It has been discovered that they grow nicely in malarial areas. They help to draw water out of mosquito infested swamps.
Long lines of eucalyptus tress are often planted to serve as windbreaks for fruit orchards.
The eucalyptus produces a camphor like oil that has proven to be useful in the manufacture of certain medicines.