Obtained by steam distillation from foliage and terminal branchlets of Melaleuca alternifolia.
Tea tree grows naturally in South Africa but to date there are little in the way of commercial plantations. Much of the countries output is wild harvested and can be certified as organic. Some young plantations have started but output is relatively small on a global scale.
From seed to harvest usually takes around 12-15 months and trees will grow to around 2 metres high. The tree is then cut from just above the ground and the leaves are steam distilled in a process that takes around 1.5-2.0 hours per batch of around 250 kilos. Tea tree will regenerate quickly and over the next 2-3 years will yield higher levels of oil each year and establish a stronger root network ensuring it becomes more resilient to adverse weather conditions. Some more mature trees can yield higher levels of 1,8-cineole, which is undesirable so re-planting can occur every 6-7 years.
Read more about this amazing essential oil by clicking on our Elementary Essential Oil link in the sidebar
There have been suggestions that in 2016 South Africa will produce more tea tree oil than in previous years and may even ‘quadruple’ production over the next couple of years! New plantations are in place for both conventional and organic material, which will allow South African producers to standardise their qualities better than before. Although dwarfed by Australia’s dominance there is no doubt that South Africa will continue to be a viable option for those end users looking for a different consumer story.
Late rains in 2016 should mean a good New Year crop.
To ask us a fair quote for this product, please fill the following form: