Obtained by steam distillation from foliage and terminal branchlets of Melaleuca alternifolia.
Tea tree grows in both New South Wales and Northern Queensland, almost entirely in modern day plantations. Some wild harvesting still occurs but this only contributes a small amount of the 650+ MT that Australia produces annually.
The industry is well regulated and as the original producer of tea tree, Australia standards are highly regarded as the best quality. The harvest period starts in May and lasts until November.
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 however the tree itself could live over 25 years.
Read more about this amazing essential oil by clicking on our Elementary Essential Oil link in the sidebar.
Tea tree oil was one of the best-selling essential oils during the pandemic due to its antibacterial properties. As a result of this most of the old season material from 2020 is sold out and there is no carryover left. Prices for material for part shipments is expensive due to logistic delays. New season seems to be good.
Organic farming of tea tree has increased and this year Australia will produce close to 40-50 tons of organic tea tree oil. The demand for tea tree oil is expected to increase over the next few years.
Golden Grove Naturals has made a lot of improvements and additions this year. Brand new state of the art distillation equipment has been installed replacing old ones with larger and better yield.
Use of pesticides has reduced considerably. GGN’s in-house nursery is used to grow new saplings and replant old plantations.
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