Monday, November 01, 2010

Gum trees in Greece

To Australian eyes, one of small but visually striking things we noticed in the Greek Islands was the number of gum trees.P1010361

This is a street scene from the sea side village of Kamari on Santorini. An Australian just glimpsing the photo might think it an Australian scene.

I asked people and then did a web search trying to find out just who was responsible for introducing them to the Greek Islands.

I didn't find this, but I did find out from Wikipedia that Eucalyptus trees have spread widely round the world where they have proved both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because they are a hardy tree with many uses, a curse because they have affected the local environment.


Winton Bates said...

The gum trees shown in the photo don't look like ideal street trees to me. They could have selected more appropriate varieties.

You make an interesting point about the effect of eucalypts on the environment in Greece. Apparently olive trees are becoming a weed problem in some parts of Australia. It might be a case of what goes around comes around!

Novo Shoes said...

Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia, and today they are cultivated across the world. They have astonishing medicinal properties, and I personally love the smell of its bark, its leaves, and also the oil that is extracted from the trees. If you are interested in cleverly crafted beautifully designed shoes check out You stand to win amazing prizes as well! Thanks!

Jim Belshaw said...

I love the smell to NS. In Greece, I crunched the leaves between my fingers for the smell!

Winton, in some parts of Oz they speak of feral olives, a concept that made we roar with laughter because of the images it raised. Perhaps feral gums as well!

Anonymous said...

I just came back from Santorini and was told the gum trees were a gift from the Australian Government after World War Two.

Unknown said...

Beware of Australians bearing Gifts

Anonymous said...

That is what I was told too by our guide on Santorini

Chloe said...

Eucalyptus trees in Greece - both Blue Gum and Red Gum - were introduced in the 19th century from north Africa by famous Greek botanist Theodoros Orphanides. Nowadays seen as a problem because as exotic species they disturb the local ecosystem, and consume a lot of water. So like willows in Australia, eucalypts are being removed from many countries.
Wikipedia has more info since this blog was written.

john macey said...

Eucalyptus trees in australia were encouraged over thousands of year by aborigine people who use fire as a part of hunting to create grasslands for kangarosos thus encouraging them to congregate on those grasslands, gum trees are fast growers and as the fires raged across australia other species that were there were destroyed totally by the continuous fires that raged over Australia and thus gum tree prevailed above all other species