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back to article Koala food may power US Defence force

Koalas might soon face a food shortage if the US Department of Defence pursues its interest in Australian research for the creation of biofuels from local flora. Visiting US Navy Director for Operational Energy, Chris Tindal, has been in discussion with the University of Queensland on UQ's biofuels research, including the …

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Eucalypts? Why go to Oz for those damn things ...

I've got a hundred year old couple-five acres of them that NASA can have for the cost of removal, right here in California. Most useless trees I've ever had the misfortune to deal with.

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Facepalm

You are perfectly correct.

I believe that they were introduced (by Leyland Stanford), as a potential source of wood for railroad ties. They proved unsuitable for that purpose, and now all they do is shed debris and stink all over the state.

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Silver badge

Not quite "perfect" ...

... where the heck did I get NASA out of that? Mental note: No more posting when there is wild game on the grill ...

Stanford had little or nothing to do with it. See:

http://wwwlibrary.csustan.edu/bsantos/section1.htm

(Yes, I know, I could make that clickable, but why?)

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Wrong source

Jake, the source of the oil is the leaves - cutting down the trees would not help NASA.

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Philistine

"...all they do is shed debris and stink all over the state."

I'll grant you the debris, but "stink"? Lemme guess, you don't like the taste of Vegemite either, right?

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Silver badge

Vegamite (Marmite) is tasty. Especially on Sourdough toast.

Vic's Vap-o-rub, not so much.

I don't even burn Eucalyptus, despite the BTU capability. The smoke smells like piss; stinks up the entire neighborhood. Can't compost it into anything useful, either. IMNSHO, it's the largest weed on the planet.

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@Neoc

The 'orrible thing is that stripping the leaves won't kill the tree. Neither will girdling it. I know, I've tried ... These things need to be eradicated, they don't belong in the California ecosystem.

Can I ship you a cain toad or house cat or rabbit?

Different schools, different rules ... Here in CA, we also have issues with wild boar. At least pigs are tasty ...

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Joke

No worries, will swap the lot for about 5 million cane toads. Come and get 'em.

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Alert

Dangerous stuff

Years (decades actually) ago when I worked in forestry they warned us that over about 30-odd degrees C the amount of euc oil in the air in a euc forestry stand was enough to made said air flammable. Contributes to the impressive bush fires they get in Australia.

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Vic
Silver badge

> Vic's Vap-o-rub, not so much.

It's "Vicks".

Nothing to do with me.

Vic.

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Flame

Paper

Don't you have paper mills in California? There are gigantic Eucalyptus (industrial, managed) forests in Brazil, pretty much on all regions of the country. I think they are the most common wood used in the paper making industry, and I think they are also used to make vegetal coal for steel plants. They are also used in construction work.

I just found it amusing to see people complaining about them when they have, in large enough quantities, commercial value. Obviously, only a couple of trees would certainly be an annoyance.

I had a biology teacher once, a long time ago, that hated these trees with a passion. He used to say these forests were actually deserts, no bird ever sang in them. I can't really say if he was exaggerating for effect.

They make pretty good lightning rods, though. Don't stand close to them during a storm ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Fires

I was once told by a Portuguese friend that they've gradually taken over the landscape because of their value for paper. Although other trees couldn't be removed to plant them, once a convenient forest fire burns trees down the eucalyptus can then be planted.

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Bronze badge

That's just my back yard.

Admittedly there not as common as they were. Apparently birds have learned how to kill and eat them. What's a bit of poison when you're Australian wildlife.

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Joke

The world's slowest battleship...

The DoD does know the koala sleeps 19 hours a day because of the low quality of its food supply?

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Not exactly stealthy

"So how did you know we were there from fifty miles over the horizon?"

"Strewth sport, yer ship stinks like a koala backside - we just needed to follow our noses..."

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Trade you

We'll take the Eucalyptus if you take an equal weight of silver maple and poison ivy. If the leaves are toxic, maybe it'll get rid fo the deer who come through the back of our woods and leave droppings for our hounds to roll in ...

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The Australian bush

With it's sweet smell, shade on a hot day, bell-birds' call and koalas is too good for mere fermentation. Go somewhere else and cultivate algae or something, Mac !

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