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I photographed these baby gum trees in South Africa north of Johannesburg in a ranch estate called Monaghan Farm.
Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees and shrubs belonging to the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. There are no indigenous eucalypts in South Africa and almost all gum trees are native to Australia unless otherwise noted.
Gum trees produce oils and sap that are very commonly used, along with the wood itself.
The generic name is derived from the Greek words (eu) = ‘well’, and (kályptos) = ‘covered’, referring to the lids that cover the flower buds.
Numerous species of eucalypts are cultivated widely because of their desirable characteristics such as being a fast-growing source of wood, producing oil used for cleaning and as a natural insecticide; • their ability to dry out swamps, thereby reducing the risk of malaria. Outside their natural ranges, eucalypts are both lauded for their beneficial economic impact and criticised for being ‘water-guzzling’ invasive aliens, leading to controversy over their total impact.
In some locations around the world, these trees are considered an invasive species.
What I liked about this shot was that the sun which was still harsh, filtered through the local grasslands and thin fragrant leaves of the gum trees. There was absolutely no wind and the heat created a hazy atmosphere which further enhanced the soft look that I was after. It is known that on warm days they are sometimes shrouded in a smog like mist of vaporised volatile organic compounds exuded by the trees.
One of the best characteristics of these trees is the amazing bark which with age peels of to reveal the white coloured trunks.
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