Tea tree

Melaleuca alternifolia

Indigenous Australians have been using tea tree for its health benefits for thousands of years. British colonists and explorers noted Aboriginal people drinking a hot healing drink infused with melaleuca leaves and named the plant “Tea Tree”. Tea tree oil is now commonly known as a strong natural antiseptic, with proven anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

Tea tree oil is distilled from the green leaves and younger branches of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. It is a is a sub-tropical tree endemic to the east coast of Australia.

Tea tree first became a commercial crop in the 1920s in Australia but now grows well in other similar climates such as Kenya, where Fairoils grows it both commercially and, with small-scale farmers.

Fairoils has two out-grower projects and two commercial farms producing tea tree oil in Kenya: one project in the Kenyan Highlands around Mt Kenya and the second project is on the Kenyan coast, near the Tanzanian border. Fairoils proudly has more than 1,500 growers farming tea tree in Kenya.

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Production and extraction

The tea tree belongs to a genus of 300 species of plants in the Myrtaceae family – trees that all contain essential oils, including eucalyptus. Though they can grow to over 15 tall, tea tree is kept to a fairly low ‘shrub’ height where it is cut and then re-grows quickly.

It is a very hardy tree which can withstand flooding, fire and drought – so is well suited as an out-grower crop for small-scale farmers of Southern & Eastern Africa.

Fairoils’ harvests tea tree throughout the year as Kenya, where we primarily grow, sits on the equator. Fairoils has three tea tree distilleries in Kenya: in the Mara in Laikipia (Mt Kenya) and on the Kenyan coast at Lunga Lunga. Fairoils distils tea tree with wet steam on large European stainless-steel stills.

Distillation is best done when the leaves and branches have been freshly cut so Fairoils distils all tea tree on site. The process takes roughly two and half hours.

Tea Tree oil’s largest component is an active called Terpinene -4-ol which signifies the quality of the oil. Fairoils supplies all the relevant technical and quality documents on request.
Packaging: 5kg, 25kg & 180kg drums

Fairoils can produce and supply around 40mt of Tea Tree oil per year.
  • Ethically Sourced
  • Organic
  • Pure & Natural
  • Steam Distilled
  • Essential Oil
  • Out Grower Grown
  • Commercially Grown

Grown at our projects

Kenyan Coast
Kenyan Highlands

Pure and Natural.

Work with us to source pure, natural oils produced to the highest ethical standards.