The Blue Mallee Eucalyptus is the most commonly planted tree in Australia as part of carbon offset programs. Primarily, this is because Blue Mallees are native to Australia, can grow effectively in drought conditions and store a great deal of carbon quickly. They also continue to store large amounts of carbon throughout their lifetime.
Estimates of the exact amount of carbon stored depend on the conditions in which the trees grow, but range as high as 15.7 tonnes per hectare per year after only four years of growth. By 14 years of growth, this can increase to as much as 25.3 tonnes.
Importantly, Blue Mallee Eucalyptus store a great deal of carbon in their extensive root systems, which provides substantial protection against fire and damage. Even when their entire above ground structure is burnt away in the bush fires that are common in many parts of Australia, the Blue Mallee Eucalyptus will very quickly regrow its above ground stems and leaves, maintaining the majority of sequestered carbon.
Blue Mallee Eucalyptus also require very little attention from farmers in order to establish themselves. They need little water to maintain growth, and are able to extend their roots deep into the ground to reach aquifers that would be inaccessible to other plants and trees.
Another reason that Blue Mallee Eucalyptus are common for carbon offsetting is their popularity with farmers. This is because their deep roots are highly effective at preventing erosion and are helpful in lowering the salinity in the soil, which has become a problem in many areas of Australia where only shallow rooted plants are allowed to grow. Because the Blue Mallee provides these benefits, farmers are more likely to agree to grow them on their land, which then produces the carbon credits that offset emission from other sources.