I know that they’re invasive, so what do we do about that? Are they worth keeping around? Or do we need to get rid of them and replace them with something else?”

People don’t know about the species, which they condemn out of ignorance”.

We cry for the people, but we also cry for the trees, for the insects, for the ecosystem that disappeared.”

I am a little afraid of the eucalyptus. I am not against them. People need money,”


Walking down the mountain from the small chapel I was making work around, the still air was thick with the smell of eucalyptus coming from this small eight acre allotment. Revived from the aroma, I thought to myself, you’re not from here either.

The first introduction record in Spain was in 1863 by Rosendo Salvado, a missionary monk who sent seeds from Australia to
his family in Pontevedra.” These trees in front of me are about as Australian as I am Irish, me having spent most of my life being an immigrant somewhere and they I’m guessing, having never been to Australia.

The Iberian peninsula is a historically fire prone region, the afforestation of the western regions of Galicia and Portugal with pyrogenic species such as the eucalyptus has led to catastrophic losses. This has led some to question the long term viability of using such virulent species for carbon capture or renewable energy.

There are some striking similarities between how eucalyptus trees and immigrant and/or certain ethnic populations across the United States of America and across Europe are discussed. Some see their economic value, yet others see no value in them at all, preferring that their land be returned to what they believe to be more indigenous varieties.

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