Living Rainbow: Rainbow Eucalyptus, Most Beautiful Tree Bark on Earth [36 PICS]

January 29th, 2013 Permalink

Does a living rainbow exist? Yes! Extremely cool yet natural outdoor coloring can be found under the shade of this living rainbow. The Rainbow Eucalyptus is truly one of the most amazingly stunning trees and it definitely has the most beautiful bark of any tree on Earth. [36 Photos]

Rainbow Eucalyptus

While this may appear to be a cool tree with camouflaged bark, it actually continues to morph in all the colors of a rainbow. If you enjoy the forest, then you probably like trees. This isn’t Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but somewhere under the rainbow, so if you don’t live in a warm, moist climate, then you might not have ever come across the most beautiful bark of any tree on Earth. With bright and uniquely-colored trunk and branches, the Rainbow Eucalyptus is “one of the most amazingly colorful species of tree,” noted the photographer. Photo #1 by Roberto Verzo

Eucalyptus deglupta is a huge evergreen tree of up to 60 - 75 m tall; 50-70% of the tree height, up to 240 cm in diameter, sometimes with buttresses 3-4 m high; bark smooth, yellow, brown, and purple, but green after flaking

The bark is smooth, but flaky as it sheds layers on various places at different times along the tree, revealing new colors and keeping up the appearance of a rainbow. The landscaping article Under the Rainbow (.pdf) explained, “As the newly exposed bark slowly ages, it changes from bright green to a darker green, then bluish to purplish, and then pink-orange. Finally, the color becomes a brownish maroon right before exfoliation occurs. Since this process is happening in different zones of the trunk and in different stages, simultaneously, the colors are varied and almost constantly changing. As a result, the tree will never have the same color pattern twice, making it like a work of living art.” Photo #2 by juicyfunpark


Unique shaped Rainbow Eucalyptus in a small eucalyptus grove on way to Hana, Maui

This uniquely-shaped tree was in a small eucalyptus grove along the way to Hana, Maui. The eucalyptus deglupta is called by many names, most commonly the rainbow eucalyptus. Since it is believed to have originated in the Philippines, specifically the island of Mindanao, it is also called Mindanao gum or rainbow gum. Photo #3 by Chad Podoski

Trunks of rainbow eucalyptus trees

“One of the best places to see the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees is on the road to the windward town of Hana,” reported the Examiner. “This famous, curvy road with over 600 tight turns and 53 one-lane bridges hosts several groups of the beautiful, colorful trees.” Photo #4 by thaths

Trunk of rainbow eucalyptus trees, growing along the Hana Highway

Base of rainbow eucalyptus trees growing along the Hana Highway. According to the World Agro Forestry Center, the tree is a huge evergreen. It can grow 8 feet a year, reaching a height of 197 – 246 feet (60 – 75 meters) with a diameter up to 7.9 feet (240 centimeters) wide. Photo #5 by Amelia Leubscher

Bark from a rainbow eucalyptus ... possibly one of the coolest trees on earth

“Bark from a rainbow eucalyptus … possibly one of the coolest trees on earth,” noted the photographer. Photo #6 by Chad Podoski

Inverewe Gardens rainbow eucalyptus

Inverewe Gardens at Highland, Scotland, Great Britain. “It is the only Eucalyptus species found naturally in the Northern Hemisphere.” Wikipedia adds the “natural distribution spans New Britain, New Guinea, Ceram, Sulawesi and Mindanao.” Photo #7 by IrenicRhonda

Buldge in the striped bark of rainbow eucalyptus

However the World Agro Forestry Center states the following geographic distribution: the trees are native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. Grown but considered exotic in Brazil, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Fiji, Honduras, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and the Province of China. Photo #8 by Cody Perhamus

The other rainbow in Maui, rainbow eucalyptus trees

The other Maui rainbow. Photo #9 by Spencer9

Closeup of rainbow eucalyptus taken at the 6 acre (2.4 hectares) Keʻanae Arboretum and botanical garden

Closeup taken at the 6 acre (2.4 hectares) Keʻanae Arboretum and botanical garden located on the Hana Highway west of Maui. There is no charge to visit and it’s open daily. Photo #10 by davecobb

Sunshine and rainbow trees

Sunshine and rainbows. This is a sun-loving tree that “does not grows naturally in areas with a pronounced dry season but occurs in those where the annual rainfall is very high and the monthly rainfall usually exceeds 150 mm. Because of this, it is widely planted throughout the wet tropics. E. deglupta does not withstand prolonged flooding, is highly sensitive to fires and, although it may grow in cool environments, it does not tolerate frost. Photo #11 by Lydia Mann

The unique multi-hued bark is the most distinctive feature of the tree. Patches of outer bark are shed annually

Patches of the unique multi-hued bark shed to show a bright green inner bark. Photo #12 by carvalho

Rainbow eucalyptus trees go from bright green after shedding to blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones

Rainbow eucalyptus trees go from bright green after shedding to darkening and maturing to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. Photo #13 by Holly Ladd & #14 by Chris Heald

Rainbow Eucalyptus at the Keahua Arboretum

Rainbow Eucalyptus at the Keahua Arboretum. “The Mindanao gum was first introduced to Hawai’i for reforestation in 1929 at Wahiawa Botanical Garden. From its beginning in Wahiawa, the Mindanao gum was distributed and now grows throughout the Islands.” Photo #15 by Harry Alverson

Magical looking forest

Magical looking forests: The multi-colored streaks of the trunks make these trees a distinctive landscape design element. If you’d like to have one, like we would, then in the United States the trees are only shipped to zones 9 and 10, meaning the lowest possible temperatures are 20 – 30°F. The rainbow eucalyptus is supposed to grow best in areas where the temperature averages about 73 – 88ºF (3 – 31ºC). Photo #16 by davecobb

Showy Rainbow Eucalyptus shed patches of bark at different times throughout the year

The same tree can appear different, morphing as it sheds patches of showy bark at different times throughout the year. When wet, such as after a rain, the bark takes on a shiny coloring. Photo #17 by Jay Hickey

Grown around the world in tree plantations, the rainbow eucalyptus mainly for pulpwood used in making paper

Grown around the world in tree plantations, the rainbow eucalyptus is mainly used for pulpwood in making white paper. It is the dominant species used for pulpwood plantations in the Philippines, but coffee farmers in Costa Rica are using the shade of this tree to effectively grow their coffee. Also the wood from the tree can be used to make furniture and cabinets and sometimes for construction. In Hawaii, the rainbow eucalyptus is also used for making boats. Photo #18 by InternetAgeTraveler

Looking up at cool bark of a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree

Looking up at the cool bark. Bob Beck, a tree expert at Zoo Miami stated, “This tree is the main source of food for the koala, and is where it makes its home, usually just going to the ground to get to the next tree where there might be a mate.” Photo #19 by Andy Beal

Eucalyptus deglupta is a tall tree, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus, Mindanao gum, or rainbow gum

Rainbow upon rainbow tree. The owner and one of the sellers for this tree said (.pdf), “Water is the single most important need these trees have. They must never be allowed to dry out, either in the pot or in the ground. If you keep them moist, they will reward you with rapid growth and more spectacular trunk coloration.” Photo #20 by Aroidia Research & #21 by Aroidia Research

Closeup of amazing wet bark of Rainbow Eucalyptus at the Keahua Arboretum

Closeup of amazing wet bark at the Keahua Arboretum. Photo #23 by Christopher Martin Photography

Striped rainbow bark of Rainbow Eucalyptus

If you were to examine the roots of this tree, you’d see that they don’t have the same colorfully striped-rainbow pattern as the bark does. Photo #24 by Jeff Kubina

Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) at Katong Park

Rainbow Eucalyptus at Katong Park of Singapore. Photo #25 by Heritage Tree

the beauty of nature, rainbow gum forest

The beauty of nature, rainbow gum forest. Photo #26 by libero

Flowers and another terrific rainbow tree, Eucalyptus deglupt, a in Hawaii

Flowers and another terrific rainbow tree in Hawaii. Photo #27 by Simon Tunbridge

Costa Rica, parrot in the rainbow eucalyptus

Costa Rica, parrot perched on the rainbow. Photo #28 by Cherie Stafford

Rainbow eucalyptus, or rainbow gum, peeling like paint in Maui

Maui: The bark is peeling like paint. Photo #29 by gretchenjonesnyc

The most colorful tree in the world

Natural outdoor coloring of the most colorful tree in the world. Photo #30 by Holly Ladd & #31 by Amusing Planet & #32 by Christopher Martin Photography

Flaking bark from 3 different rainbow eucalyptus trees

Flaking bark from 3 different rainbow eucalyptus trees. Photo #33 by connie & #34 by juicyfunpark & #35 by Laurent Martres

Rainbow eucalyptus, truly one of the most amazingly beautiful rainbow colored trees on earth

Rainbow eucalyptus, truly one of the most amazingly beautiful trees on Earth. Photo #36 by Allpe Engineering and Environment

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